TechCrunch is thrilled to announce a special event centered around the exploding scene in Austin, Texas on April 6 at 11:30 am PT / 2:30 pm ET. The area deserves a spotlight on the upcoming startups and recent milestones. It’s the city of unicorns and tech giants. Drawn to the laid-back lifestyle and lower cost of living — relatively speaking — nearly 185 people are moving to the Texas capital on a daily basis, and many of those people work in the tech industry.
Austin wasn’t an overnight success. For years it was known primarily for its software scene. But today, new growing sectors include crypto, real estate tech, CPG and insurance technology. As in other maturing markets, companies that have seen success in the past are now spawning a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Look at the companies that surpassed a $1 billion valuation in 2021: The Zebra, Firefly Aerospace, Abrigo, ZenBusiness and Iodine Software. In 2020 Tesla settled into the so-called Silicon Hills district, home to among many, including Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and SpaceX.
Funding globally surged over the past year, and Austin was no exception. The year 2021 marked the year of the biggest funding deals ever for Austin startups, according to Silicon Hills News, with $4.9 billion raised — more than double the $2.3 billion raised in 2020. Rounds are getting larger too, signaling a further maturing of the market: All of the top 10 deals for Austin in 2021 amounted to $100 million or more.
Not only are companies moving here, investors are too. A number of venture capitalists now call Austin home after relocating from the coasts. They include Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale, who said last year he was moving his venture capital firm, 8VC, from Silicon Valley to the city, and Geoff Lewis, founder and managing partner of Bedrock Capital.
There’s more. TechCrunch Live is hosting a special episode with local leaders and investors who can best speak to the area. We want to hear what it took to build the mature ecosystem, and what challenges are persisting.
We need your help. Apply to pitch your Austin-area startup during the TechCrunch Live Pitch Off. Just like every TechCrunch Live episode, startups will pitch their companies to our guests. This time around there’s a prize. The winner gets a free booth at TechCrunch Disrupt 2022 to exhibit their company.
Check back for updates. This is going to be great.