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Press Release

Feb 4, 2021 14:00 UTC

Sputnik ATX, Austin-Based Venture Capital Fund and Accelerator, Selects Its Winter 2021 Cohort

AUSTIN, Texas--(Business Wire)--Sputnik ATX, an Austin, Texas based venture capital fund and accelerator that backs early-stage founders solving big problems, announced the selection of its newest cohort for winter 2021. Five companies were selected out of more than 700 strong applicants. Industries represented in the funding rounds represent some of the burning platforms for a post-COVID era, with a focus on education, healthcare and on-demand cleaning services.

All of the companies selected tackle difficult problems and are changing their respective industries, consistent with Sputnik ATX’s mission and culture. The ongoing success of Sputnik ATX to identify and bring these companies to Austin is fast establishing another proof point of Austin’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

It also highlights the quickening pace of innovation forced by the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is more rapidly developing phenomenal startup companies. Sputnik ATX, now in its fourth year, is clearly capitalizing on this opportunity, backed by its founding General Partners, Oksana Malysheva and Joe Merrill.

“The Sputnik ATX mission is not the typical VC investment pipeline, discovering startups from a limited network. We scour Texas and the globe for world-changing startups with diverse teams, many who are already here, and others who want to move here and be a part of the incredible Texas growth story. We don’t just invest, we develop and coach them to reach their full potential, not an early exit pressured by myopic investors,” said Malysheva, CEO & Managing Partner of Sputnik ATX. “Traditionally if you wanted your world-changing idea to get funded you would go to Silicon Valley - COVID accelerated the world’s awakening to what we always knew: ideas for market tectonic shifts come from anywhere. And we are committed to establishing and growing the best hub for these companies right here in Austin.”

This selection marks Sputnik ATX’s seventh cohort of startup companies since its founding in 2017. Their portfolio now has over 40 companies. Although Sputnik ATX is typically the first investment from a VC fund into their portfolio companies, their alumni have subsequently garnered follow-on funding from the top VC funds globally, including Andresson Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Shasta Ventures, and many more.

“We invest in maker-founders who create massive consumer surplus, providing not just an incremental benefit to their customers, but market changing and epoch defining technologies – our founders swing for the fences,” said Merrill, Co-founder and Partner at Sputnik ATX. “We are thrilled to play a role in guiding them to next-level success and have them join our already distinguished list of alumni.”

The winter 2021 cohort companies are:

  • CribMD provides subscription based telemedicine and doctor house calls on-demand to patients in Nigeria where primary care is in short-supply, and makes it affordable.
  • DocSpace is a turnkey digital commerce and operating platform for any doctor to start, manage, & grow their digital and telehealth practice, expanding access to patients.
  • Rex Academy gives schools the curriculum they need to teach K-12 computer science, IT and coding at scale. Unlike their competitors, they’re built from the ground up to integrate with existing schools systems and support teachers without subject expertise.
  • TIDY app allows users to quickly and easily book an insured and bonded professional cleaners for their home, Airbnb or office.
  • Woostudy’s global edtech marketplace leverages massive school data and AI to rapidly answer student questions, and match qualified students to the college of their dreams.

A complete list of Sputnik’s portfolio of investments to date can be found here.

About Sputnik ATX

Sputnik ATX is a venture capital fund and accelerator in Austin, Texas that combines capital with training and mentorship focused on high growth and product-market fit. Their goal is to help startups reach double digit week over week growth, essential for early stage companies to survive and thrive.

Sputnik ATX is named after its founding city (Austin, Texas) and the first thing humankind put into space. The Sputnik launch touched off a new era of global innovation and competition that led to most of today’s technologies. The Russian word ‘Sputnik’ translates to ‘partner,’ which describes the core of the fund: to partner with and mentor startups that will change the world. The accelerator and fund were founded by Dr. Oksana Malysheva and Joe Merrill. After investing over $1bn in companies around the world, the entrepreneurial atmosphere of Austin inspired Malysheva and Merrill to consolidate their focus in Texas, finding companies in their backyard or who are willing to move to “the best place on earth.” Sputnik ATX launched on Oct. 4, 2017, the 60th anniversary of the Sputnik-1 satellite launch.

Media Contact:
McKenzie Cloutier
Coltrin & Associates, Inc.
McKenzie_Cloutier@Coltrin.com
212-221-1616

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