Tesla Makes It Official, SigmaSense Got $24M, and More Austin Tech News

austin tech news
Photo: SigmaSense / LinkedIn

The Austin tech scene got a jolt of activity with the now-confirmed, long-rumored news that Elon Musk’s Tesla is relocating its headquarters to town. But the Austin tech news certainly didn’t stop there. Read on to learn more about the latest headlines you may have missed last week. This is the Built In Austin weekly refresh. 

Airtable opens a new downtown ATX office. The buzzy, San Francisco-based cloud collaboration tool already has a local headcount of 100 and plans to add another 50 Austin-based employees with the opening of its new office at 501 Congress Ave., in a space previously occupied by Dropbox. The company had originally planned to open a customer engagement center in Austin when the pandemic hit and delayed those plans. The office is now open at a limited capacity for vaccinated employees who choose to use it. [Built In Austin]

Austin tech leaders spoke out against Texas’ abortion law. A new letter signed by some 28 local tech leaders strongly condemned the state’s controversial abortion law and other pieces of recent legislation that they say could threaten the ability of their companies to grow and attract top tech talent. The effort was led by Capital Factory CEO Joshua Baer. Other tech leaders at companies such as Cart.com, ICON, OJO Labs and more signed on. [Built In Austin]

Austin tech quote of the week

“It’s a tech company that creates the clean-manufacturing, middle-skill jobs Austin needs. We’re one of the safest big cities, with a strong innovative, entrepreneurial, environmentally-focused culture.” — Austin Mayor Steve Adler on Tesla’s move

Tesla is moving its HQ to Austin. CEO Elon Musk took the opportunity at last Thursday’s Tesla shareholders meeting to announce the electric vehicle maker will officially relocate its headquarters from the Bay Area to Austin. The company is already in the midst of building its newest gigafactory near the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and that facility is expected to with at least 5,000 local jobs. The company currently has about 350 open Austin-based positions listed on its website, with more expansion likely to come given last week’s news. [Built In Austin]

Olea Edge Analytics raised $35M. The Austin startup offers a platform that uses a combination of AI, machine learning and edge computing to help municipal water systems optimize their operations by identifying problems with performance more efficiently. The company’s Series C round was led by VC heavyweight Insight Partners. The new funding will help the company double its current headcount of 50 and bring its technology to more cities by this time next year. [Built In Austin]

SigmaSense got $24M. The company specializes in touchless technology for uses in smartphones, kiosks and digital signage. The company’s recent Series B funding round builds on its $22 million Series A announced last September. With this new funding, the company is also welcoming Aurelio Fernandez to its board of managers. [FinSMEs]

Assembly raises a $1.7M seed round. Wilshire Lane Partners and Acrew Capital led the investment in this Austin startup offering chef and mixologist-curated meal and drink kits that ship directly to remote workers’ homes. Co-founders William Ball and Philip Speer also own and operate Comedor, a popular Austin culinary destination. The goal is to help companies foster team building for distributed workforces, and the startup currently counts names like Bumble and Google among its clients. [GlobeNewswire]

Workrise brings on a new COO. The workforce management platform announced industry veteran Allen Narcisse will join as COO. Narcisse previously worked at Lyft and UberEats and will now lead Workrise’s marketplace growth initiatives. This new hire comes as the company lists more than 100 Austin-based open positions on it’s Built In page. [PR Newswire]


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