Weekly Roundup: 4 Austin Startups to Watch
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.
Featured image by Perpetual Motion
Bumble, the dating app that allows women to initiate connections with men, was founded in Austin in 2014 by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. Now, six years later, the company has over 100 million users and is considering going public in 2021 with an IPO valuation between $6 to $8 billion.
Bumble belongs to parent company Magic Lab which was valued at $3 billion last year after Blackstone Group bought a majority stake. Blackstone bought the majority stake after an investigation conducted by Forbes discovered Magic Lab founder Andrey Andreev had some misogynistic and toxic work practices. As a result, Blackstone had Herd take over as CEO for the entire company.
Fast Company reported Bumble is the second most popular dating app after Tinder. With dating apps on the rise, Bumble faces competition from fellow companies such as Match Group, parent company of Tinder, Hinge and more, with a total valuation of $30 million.
Fox Robotics, an Austin-based robotic forklift company recently received a $9 million Series A funding from Menlo Ventures. The funding round will be used to increase production and meet demand. After the Series A round, the company valuation is brought up to a total of $13 million.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the demand for robotics and automation adaptation became more clear than ever. Fox forklifts use AI technology and real time detection of pallets and other obstacles that don’t have pre-programmed fixed locations. The forklifts are still human operated, however the need for forklift drivers is gone. According to PR Newswire, Fox claims their technology can increase production by 200% to 300%.
MineralAnswers.com recently launched their platform after a seed funding round sponsored by Bill Woods, co-founder of Austin Ventures and founder of Silverton Partners. MineralAnswers.com’s goal is to connect those in the oil and gas industry with the resources they need. Think of it like Google for the energy industry.
MineralAnswers.com’s SaaS platform was created by founder Jeff Chambers. Before starting MineralAnswers, Chambers also founded DrillingEdge.com and UpstreamDB.com. While DrillingEdge is still its own entity, he combined Upstream DB with MineralAnswers.com to create a single brand.
According to Austin Inno, the three-person operated startup will provide free data to energy companies as well as services for purchase. MineralAnswers.com plans to use the funding round to roll out commercial models as well as increase marketing and development.
Another company using the effects of COVID-19 to their benefit is Perpetual Motion, a first of its kind startup that uses drones to distribute disinfectant to both indoor and outdoor large venues. According to Austin Inno, Perpetual Motion is the first company to combine drone technology with a disinfectant that is safe for humans, animals, and plants.
Perpetual Motion is targeting large venues which can range anywhere from hospitals to sports arenas. They use an N-listed EPA-approved chemical from Mark-V along with Titania, a non-friction, antimicrobial disinfectant that can last up to a year. Up until now, founders Scott Thorton and Jimmy Petrick have funded Perpetual Motion on their own.
About Savannah Burns: Savannah is a marketing and communications intern for Swyft, which is a PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite office where it offers PR in San Francisco.