Weekly Roundup: Austin Startup News
Want to stay up to date on the latest startup fundings, launches, and expansions in Austin? Startup Over Coffee’s weekly roundup of startups to watch in Austin will keep you in...
Want to stay up to date on the latest startup fundings, launches, and expansions in Austin? Startup Over Coffee’s weekly roundup of startups to watch in Austin will keep you in the loop on the latest Austin tech news.
Hippo Insurance, an insurtech startup based out of Palo Alto, just raised another $350 million after a $150 million Series E round back in July. The most recent capital investment is from Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, a subsidiary of MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings. According to Built In Austin, the latest $350 million brings Hippo’s total amount raised to $709 million. The insurtech startup is currently valued at $1.5 billion.
Hippo supplies insurance policies for homes as well as appliances and electronics. The insurtech company is unique in that it pulls together data from public records, thermal imaging and smart home devices to provide users with an insurance quote in five minutes or less.
Hippo plans to use the new funds toward supporting product roll-outs in other states. Currently, Hippo’s insurance policies are available in 32 of the 50 states. By the end of 2021, Hippo hopes to reach 95% of U.S. homes. In addition to product roll-outs, Hippo plans to expand its team and grow its office in Austin.
With the rapid development and integration of technology, along with recent attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, it only makes sense that there be a system that eliminates unconscious bias among angel investors. Enter Fundr, an Austin-based startup that aims to diversify the tech industry for people of color and those from underrepresented backgrounds that may struggle to receive funding for their business.
Fundr is founded by Laura Washington who also co-founded the Black Women Talk Tech, the largest industry conference focused on Black women. Washington herself experienced pushback from biased investors when she was navigating funding for her startup KeepUp, several years ago.
Washington aims to raise $1.5 million in order to invest $100,000 in 15 startups for its inaugural portfolio. The startups are selected using Fundr’s human-in-the-loop AI system which navigated through 450 applicants. Fundr’s application process asks applicants a series of questions concerning annual recurring revenue, race, income status, difficulty applicants had in starting their business, and a series of personality questions to predict the eventual stock price of their startup. So far, 130 angel investors have signed on to the platform, reports Built In Austin.
You may have heard of Dropbox, one of the most popular cloud storage services. Something you may not have heard is that Dropbox’s CEO Drew Houston is planning on moving to Austin full-time and plans to bring his company with him. Houston asked employees to stop coming into the office in October and plans to make remote working a standard practice even after the pandemic ends, according to Austonia. So even though Dropbox’s CEO is moving, employees will not be required to move.
The announcement comes after several Silicon Valley giants have decided to call the Capital City their new home. Earlier this year, Tesla announced that its next Gigafactory will be located in Austin and has even toyed with the idea of moving the Tesla headquarters to Austin. Furthermore, Splunk CEO, Doug Merritt recently purchased a home in Austin and Joe Lonsdale (who currently resides in Austin) announced he will be moving his company, Palantir to the Texas capital.
It could be the influx of startups calling Austin home, it could be the beautiful hill country views, or it could be the top notch food scene — either way, Austin is the place to be. With more and more people choosing to settle down in Austin, real estate prices are increasingly on the rise making the city one of the least affordable places to live.
According to a recent report from SmartAsset, Austin placed 36th on the list of least affordable big cities. Austonia reported that the median household income for an Austinite is $75,413 and has $27,139 worth of non-mortgage debt. That means that the average Austin citizen can afford a home at $317,000, while the average home price in the Austin market is currently $378,300, making Austin 83.8% affordable. That’s more than 10% up from last year’s affordability rate which was 77.4%.
Though Austin is the most expensive Texas city, Dallas is not far behind with a 92.91% affordability rate. Houston’s affordability rate is 100.63%, Arlington’s is 112.25%, and San Antonio is 121.57%. The most expensive city out of the 50 states was New York City. The most affordable city was Detroit.
About Savannah Burns: Savannah is a Business Development Associate for Swyft, which is a tech PR agency in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft was also listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.