Austin had a record-breaking year with startup activity overall on the rise.

In 2021, companies in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area raised $4.9 billion in venture capital in 387 deals, more than double the $2.3 billion raised in 2020, according to Pitchbook-National Venture Capital Association Venture Monitor data.

A few trends Silicon Hills News has detected in Austin in recent years include a rise in real estate tech companies, a cluster of insure tech companies, new space startups, and more female-founded startups and BIPOC-founded startups. And the trend of companies relocating to Austin from other cities continues.

The city is also a hotbed of activity in consumer packaged goods, medical technolgy, fintech, artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, blockchain and big data.

Here are the ones to watch in 2022:


Funding: raising a seed-stage round of funding

What it does: Beth White, founder, and CEO of MeBeBot, created a virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence that can answer frequently asked questions for companies. 

Why it’s hot: MeBeBot has amazing customers:  Epicor, e2open, Ziff Davis (includes Spiceworks, RetailMeNot, IGN, etc.), HireVue, Abrigo, CrowdStreet, Terminal, Massage Envy, Toyota Insurance Management Solutions,, and IGT. Over 22,000 global employees are paid users and adoption has accelerated as more companies have gone to remote or hybrid offices.

Journey Foods

Funding: The company has raised $2.5 million in seed stage funding.

What it does: Riana Lynn co-founded Journey Foods in 2018. Journey Foods has created a machine learning-powered software platform for food companies. Its enterprise technology improves product monitoring and development for CPG companies, ingredient suppliers, and manufacturers.

Why it’s hot: The supply chain management market was valued at $18,699.45 million in 2020 and is projected to reach $52,632.37 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 10.7%, according to Allied Market Research.


Funding: $28.8 million. 

What it does: ConverseNow’s voice AI technology has reshaped the future of restaurants; whereby virtual assistants automate the order-taking process so overburdened staff can turn their attention to fulfillment and in-person service.

Why it’s hot:  The company has customers in 40 states and more than 1,200 restaurants. It works with brands such as Domino’s Pizza, Fazoli’s, and Blake’s Lotaburger. Its recent funding allows it to meet explosive demand by deploying in new locations at scale.  


Funding: Undisclosed

What it does: Uplevyl launched in November of 2021 to provide an app and digital platform to help women elevate their professional, personal and financial lives and advance a sustainable ecosystem of self-directed growth and accountability.

Why it’s hot: Shubhi Bhonsle-Rao, Uplevyl’s founder and CEO, is a former senior executive with Alphabet, Tesco, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ford Motor Company, among others. She also sits on the board of directors of Open Lending, Center for Global Development, and International Center for Research on Women and is an honorary advisory council member of the Federal Reserve San Francisco. On Silicon Hills News’ Ideas to Invoices podcast, Rao said she wanted to build a digital product for women that used technology and data for good.


Funding: $4 million in seed-stage funding

What it does: Will Hurley, David Cardona, and Justin Youens founded Strangeworks to humanize quantum computing and make it accessible to everyone. By guiding companies through the confusion of quantum computing, Strangeworks helps accelerate the integration of this new technology in corporations, universities, and enterprises. 

Why it’s hot: Quantum Computing is the next big thing. In 2021 alone, announced investments in quantum-computing start-ups have surpassed $1.7 billion, more than double the amount raised in 2020. We expect private funding to continue increasing significantly as quantum-computing commercialization gains traction,” according to McKinsey & Company research firm.


Funding: $3 million in seed-stage funding

What it does: dMASS is a social impact startup using A.I. to help companies accelerate innovation and unlock growth by saving material, energy, and water throughout manufacturing and supply chain operations. dMASS’s A.I. was built in partnership with a Fortune 100 Life Sciences company, and the platform connects the dots between global innovation patterns and trends, and unexpected opportunities.

Why it’s hot:  Sustainability and supply chain management are the focus of most companies today.  “Supply chains have always been critical but often operated behind the scenes. The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing disruption changed that, revealing the importance of supply chains to a much wider audience,” according to PwC. “The pandemic also accelerated the need to update and upgrade supply chains in an increasingly digital world.”


Funding: $52 million

What it does: Literati is a modern book distributor and curator focused on matching every child with the right book.

Why it’s hot: The U.S. book market was $36.7 billion in 2021 and it is projected to continue to grow at a 2.2 percent compounded annual growth rate through 2030. The online book market is growing even faster and consumers are looking for curated sources to find new books as the brick-and-mortar stores continue to consolidate.


Funding: $24.3 million

What it does: Loop Insurance uses AI technology, big data, and telematics to create more fairly priced insurance products.

Why it’s hot: “According to a December 2021 LexisNexis Risk Solutions survey of U.S. consumers, 71% are interested in the of use telematics-enabled usage-based insurance (UBI) for purposes of discounts. However, consumer adoption remains much lower, presenting a significant opportunity for both consumers and insurers.”

Funding: $383 million

What it does: Founded in September of 2020, makes eCommerce software and provides services to scale businesses online

Why it’s hot:   The eCommerce software and platform market had a market value of US$ 3.81 billion in 2022, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.5% from 2022 to 2032, reaching a value of US$ 12.37 billion, according to Fact.MR


Funding: $14.8 million

What it does: Eterneva celebrates remarkable people and pets by turning their ashes into diamonds.

Why it’s hot: Cremation rites are also projected to reach 78 percent by 2040, which is leading consumers to break with old funeral traditions, according to Adelle Archer, Eterneva Co-Founder and CEO.


Funding: $45.4 million

What it does: Eventus is a leading global provider of multi-asset class trade surveillance and market risk solutions.

Why it’s hot: The Global Trade Surveillance Systems Market size is expected to reach $5. 6 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 18. 9% CAGR during the forecast period, according to ReportLinker.

The Guild

Funding: $378.5 million

What it does: The Guild is a hospitality company that offers full-building management and turns upscale apartments into tech-enabled hotel suites.

Why it’s hot: The travel and tourism market is projected to reach $175.4 billion in 2022. Revenue is expected to grow at nearly 5 percent per year through 2026 and reach $211.1 billion by 2026, according to Statista market research firm. The market’s largest segment is hotels with a projected market value of $99.69 billion in 2022.

Laundris Corp.

Funding: $1.5 million

What it does: Autonomous Linen Management Platform for Hoteliers that Reduces Expenses and Operating Costs by up to 40%

Why it’s hot: Laundris was awarded a patent on the technology behind its commercial laundry system. “The market size, measured by revenue, of the Industrial Laundry & Linen Supply industry is $17.2 billion in 2022,” according to IBISworld. The market is expected to increase by 8.4% in 2022.


Funding: $451 million

What it does: ICON is a construction technology company that uses 3D robotics, software, and advanced materials to build houses and other structures.

Why it’s hot:  There’s a nationwide housing shortage and ICON has a solution. It has teamed up with Lennar, one of the nation’s leading homebuilders, to build the largest community of 3D-printed houses to date using ICON’s robotics, software, and advanced materials. The 100-home community broke ground this year and is being codesigned by architecture firm, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

Diligent Robotics

Funding: $45.9 million

What it does: Diligent Robotics is developing a suite of artificial intelligence that enables robots to collaborate with and adapt to humans in everyday environments.

Why it’s hot: The Industrial Robotics Market was worth around $41.7 billion in 2021 and is estimated to grow to about $81.4 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 11.8 percent over the forecast period, according to Zion Market Research.


Funding: $90 million

What it does: CesiumAstro builds high-throughput, plug-and-play active phased array communication payloads for airborne and in-orbit platforms. Cesium’s full-stack, multi-mission hardware and software products enable a range of commercial and defense objectives.

Why it’s hot: The space industry is booming. Citi expects the space industry to reach $1 trillion in annual revenue by 2040, with launch costs dropping 95% to unlock more services from orbit,” according to CNBC.


Funding: $501 million

What it does: Homeward enables homebuyers to make all-cash offers and buy a new home before they sell their old one.

Why it’s hot: U.S. housing gained a record $6.9 trillion in 2021, nearly doubling what was previously the largest annual gain of $3.7 trillion in 2005. The full U.S. housing stock is now worth $43.4 trillion, according to a Zillow report. And even though it has cooled recently as interest rates have risen, it is still expected to continue to grow at a record pace, according to Zillow.  

OJO Labs

Funding: $134 million

What it does: OJO has created a free assistant that handles queries from homebuyers.

Why it’s hot: The housing market nationwide has been white hot for the past few years and only recently began to slow down a bit with interest rates rising. OJO Labs ranked 365 on the 2022 Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies with a 1,650 percent growth rate.


Funding: $286.6 million

What it does: SparkCognition is an AI technology startup operating machine learning software to analyze increasingly complex data stores.

Why it’s hot: The global artificial intelligence market was valued at nearly $59.7 billion in 2021 and is estimated to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 39.4 percent to reach $422.37 billion by 2028, according to the Zion Market Research firm.

Self Financial

Funding: $127 million

What it does: Self Financial is a fintech startup that helps customers build credit and save money. It provides tools necessary for building on-time payment history and responsible use of credit, in collaboration with issuing banks services for those who are new to credit or who might not have access to traditional financial products.

Why it’s hot: The market size stood at $112.5 Billion in the year 2021. The Global Fintech Market size is expected to reach $332.5 Billion by the year 2028 and is expected to grow to exhibit a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 19.8% during the forecast period, according to Vantage Market Research Firm.

Funding: $132.3 million in seven rounds

What it does: makes it easy for everyone—not just the “data people”—to get clear, accurate, fast answers to any business question. Our cloud-native data catalog maps your siloed, distributed data to familiar and consistent business concepts, creating a unified body of knowledge anyone can find, understand, and use.

Why it’s hot: The global big data analytics market size was valued at $240.56 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from $271.83 billion in 2022 to $655.53 billion by 2029, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate of 13.4% during the forecast period, according to Fortune Business Insights.


Funding: $105.7 million

What it does: Aceable is an online education startup that offers state-approved driver’s education and real estate courses.

Why it’s hot: The global e-learning market was worth $215 billion in 2021. It is estimated to reach an expected value of $645 billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of 13% during the forecast period (2022–2030), according to Straits Research.


Funding: $274.5 million

What it does: Zenbusiness offers business products and services that help business owners start, run, and grow a business.

Why it’s hot: People launching new businesses in the U.S. have reached all-time highs in the past couple of years. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021, surpassing the record set in 2020 of 4.4 million, according to NPR.

The Zebra

Funding: $256.5 million

What it does: It created an online insurance comparison marketplace.

Why it’s hot: The Zebra is one of Austin’s homegrown Unicorns with a $1 billion valuation. An IPO could be on the horizon.

Spot Insurance

Funding: $56.3 million

What it does: Spot Insurance features injury insurance designed to protect against unexpected medical expenses.

Why it’s hot: The on-demand insurance market is expected to grow to $190 billion by 2026, according to Acumen Research and Consulting.