In response to Texas’ abortion law that went into effect last week, which is among the most restrictive in the developed world, companies are pushing back, including Dallas-based Bumble creating a fund for abortion rights, Lyft, Uber covering legal fees for drivers sued under the law, and GoDaddy removing an informant website. However, we are still hearing crickets from the majority of Texas CEO’s , and our local business leaders will be tested as their employees look to them for guidance. We will see who steps forward in support of women’s reproductive rights, and those who let this opportunity pass by.
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Austin Weekly Deal Activity
Poppi, a prebiotic soda brand, raised a $13.5M round led by investor CAVU Venture Partners along with a host of celebrity investors like Olivia Munn, the Chainsmokers, and Ellie Goulding. This brought Poppi's total funding to $20M, which will first be used to move the company's headquarters to Austin, TX later in 2021.
Prism.fm, a live music management software system for music venues, concert promoters, and talent agencies, raised an $8M Series A, led by Stephen Cook, with strong support from Jay Jensen and other existing investors.
UXD Protocol, an algorithmic stable coin, raised $3M of seed funding in a deal led by Multicoin Capital.
Gatsby Events, a tool to facilitate making "guest list planning and event -coordination”, raised $3.85M of seed funding from Pear and 8VC.
Austin M&A Activity
Other Texas Deal Activity
Antuit.ai, a Frisco, Texas-based provider of analytics SaaS for forecasting and merchandising that raised over $70 million from firms like Goldman Sachs and Zodius Capital, was acquired by Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZNRA)
FlightAware, a Houston-based a digital aviation company and data tracking platform, reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies (NYS: RTX), for an undisclosed amount.
Rosy, a Dallas-based woman's sexual wellness app, is midway through raising a $2M seed round, with $1.35M currently raised. The round is led by Austin early-stage venture capital firm True Wealth Ventures.
The top Austin tech and startup executive hires and departures (August 2021)
Digital Health company Everly Health, parent of at home health testing unicorn Everlywell namedChris Bishko as CFO. Most recently, Chris served as CFO of Tubi. The company also named Kristina Omari as its first Executive Vice President of Finance. Omari comes to Everly Health from Lyft. Finally, Everly Health appointed Kristin Reinke to its Board of Directors, where she will serve as the company's Audit Committee Chair. The VP and Head of Finance at Google has been a member of Google's finance leadership team since 2005. Everlywell’s last financing round was at a $2.7B valuation in March, according to Pitchbook.
Earbuds, a social listening app hired former Apple product manager David Ransom as head of product and former Apple software development manager Sean Moubry as head of engineering, as well as Drew Larner, a VR creator, founding CEO of Rdio, and current investor as senior advisor. The company recently announced a $3M Series A.
ESO, an emergency medical services software company, named Nelly Pitocco as CRO. She previously worked for T-Mobile, heading solution engineering and innovation. The company was acquired by Vista Equity Partners earlier this year.
E2open (NYSE: ETWO), a supply chain management software company, announced its hiring of Kari Janavitz as Chief Marketing Officer. She was previously CMO at publicly traded TE Connectivity, which has its HQ in Switzerland.
Khoros, a customer engagement company, announced Jason Perlewitz as its vice president of technical operations. It also announced Tony Cetera as its Senior Director of Information Security. The company was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2017.
Volcon, an electric powersports vehicle startup, announced its hiring of Jordan Davis as CEO. Davis was previously President of Americas of O. Mustad & Son and Remington Arms Company. The company last raised $12.4M in venture funding in June.
Austin's 5 Largest Tech Funding Rounds Totaled $285M in August
Samsung closer to picking central Texas for $17B chip plant, eyeing nearly 1200 acres
The space race runs through Texas. Venture funding for space tech has grown from $2 billion in 2017 to $6 billion last year, according to Crunchbase data. This year, investors have made $5.2 billion in deals already. In Texas, these new players include billion-dollar rocket company Firefly Aerospace near Austin, satellite-launching EXOS Aerospace in the Dallas area and lunar lander developer Intuitive Machines in Houston. On that note…Firefly Aerospace's first attempt to send a rocket into lower Earth orbit ended in a big explosion
Financial services giant Charles Schwab to add 450 jobs in Austin
Austin-based Vista Equity to acquire majority stake in SaaS startup Drift, taking it to unicorn status
Austin-based Rollick, the l relationship marketing technology provider for Powersports, and Synchrony Expand Powersports Financing Partnership Nationwide
Innovative Austin beverage brand Bhoomi named one of Texas’ best by H-E-B
San Francisco-based ADU company Villa expands to Austin
Austin-based Assurely Partners With Accelerant and Otso to Offer Industry-First A-Rated Insurance for Commercial Leases
Additional research and newsletter support provided by Nirjhar Mundkur