One of the oldest and most active venture capitalist firms in Texas, Austin Ventures, has a long history of developing companies — often from their earliest stages — into valuable brands. Since its establishment in 1984, it’s raised $3.9 billion in capital and grown more than 250 companies, generally keeping an eye toward the proliferation of Texas-based ventures.
The firm’s current portfolio holds 10 middle market companies as well as a host of early-stage ventures, including 25 software developers, 17 internet companies, five hardware brands and several others.
Here, a cursory glance through the pack to see who’s been making waves lately:
Silvercar, which offers a fleet of rentable 2013 Audi A4s and seeks to eliminate friction points throughout the car rental process, completed a $14 million funding round in September, led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Velos Partners, adding to $18 million raised in earlier rounds. It’s received recent press in Forbes, TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal, among other outlets.
Edgecase, a shopping experience platform based on a blend of machine learning and human content creation, launched in August with the release of a new adaptive UX platform. Recent press includes launch coverage in trade publications like Retail Solutions Online.
Sailpoint, an identity and access management (IAM) company, achieved more than 60% year-over-year growth in the first half of 2014 and achieved record operating profit thanks to a high rate of new customer acquisition. Having recently opened its 11th global office in Hong Kong, it was named a Best Places to Work company this year for the fifth consecutive time. CEO and founder Mark McClain was recently quoted in the Forbes article, “7 CEOs Reveal Lessons Learned as a Chief Executive.”
Innography: Using unique data correlation and visualization technologies, Innography software solutions “streamline and improve IP analysis to enable organizations to get products to market faster, uncover new revenue sources, keep better track of competitors, preempt litigation claims and stay on top of numerous IP-associated functions.” The company has won two content CODiE awards in 2014 and recently announced three new consulting service offerings.
The Austin Ventures team is composed of 16 investment professionals — eight venture capitalists and eight focusing on middle-market companies — as well as five staff members and a roster of more than 100 entrepreneurs. Partner and Chief Operating Officer, John Dirvin, came to the firm in 1997 from Texas Instruments, where he served in various marketing and financial management positions. Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Kunz, came aboard in 1999 from Ernst & Young.
And a fun bit of trivia: Austin Ventures hosts a stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Apropos of nothing, the stage’s 2014 lineup includes Juanes, Cults, and Jenny Lewis, among others.
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