Energy tech startup RigUp slapped an exclamation point on Austin’s big week in venture funding with the announcement today of a $300 million Series D round.
The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a Silicon Valley venture firm that also invested in Facebook, Lyft and Pinterest.
The fresh funding brought RigUp to unicorn status with a valuation of $1.9 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
RigUp created an online marketplace that connects energy companies with skilled contract workers. This boosts efficiency for businesses and gives contractors more opportunities to get paid.
For example, rigs that drill through rock and sediment to access crude oil require large amounts of water for coolant. RigUp provides on-demand water-hauling, so neither the company that owns the rig nor the qualified workers have to wait for the wheels to turn at a smaller staffing firm.
RigUp’s platform gives field workers access to healthcare and training partners, as well as in-app payment processing. Compensation for contractors is competitive with traditional staffing channels, RigUp’s director of talent acquisition Dan Adamson told Built In.
“We’re able to offer some of the most competitive margins in the industry due to our relationships and wide reach,” he said.
In the last 90 days, RigUp has turned its attention to the renewable energy market and started providing its product to companies and skilled workers in the wind and solar spaces.
[Renewables are] going to be a large, large priority for us as we continue to seek new growth into 2020.”
“We’ve historically built our brand on the more traditional oil and gas segment, but having moved into the new renewables, it’s going to be a large, large priority for us as we continue to seek new growth into 2020,” Adamson said.
On the corporate side, RigUp currently employs more than 320 among its Austin, Denver and Dallas offices.
While Adamson declined to share any specific hiring projections in light of the new funding, he said RigUp likely will keep pace with its hiring in 2019, which amounted to more than 150 new team members, largely in Austin. The company currently has 46 open roles posted on Built In Austin.
RigUp will add positions across its teams, including sales and marketplace operations, Adamson said, but it’s actively seeking senior-level hires for its engineering and product divisions.
“We are tackling some very interesting challenges within the payment space that could interest individuals that are looking to explore that side of fintech and product development,” he said.
The company’s valuation has ballooned to 10 times what it received after its $60 million round in January led by Founder’s Fund. Its total funding is $450 million, and it works with more than 75,000 service providers and 3,000 operators and vendors, Austin Business Journal reported.