San Antonio Startups to Watch in 2020

By Iris Gonzalez

San Antonio startups had a good year in 2019.

If you looked over the list of San Antonio startups to watch in 2019, you’d see how many of these were in the news over the past 12 months. Some received significant investments, such as Cyberfortress’s $3 million or Plus One Robotics’ $11.5 million

Others experienced significant growth such as FunnelAI and Chargify, two software as a service (SaaS) companies that landed on San Antonio’s list of fastest-growing companies in Texas as part of the first-ever Growjo Industry Awards last May.

We recommend you keep watching these startups for news of more promising developments.

Changes in our ecosystem since last year include an increase in the number of co-working spaces, more student entrepreneurial programs, more investor interest in San Antonio startups, and more SaaS companies in our local ecosystem, thanks to RealCo, Scaleworks, and Dura Software.  

But what kinds of startups are emerging in San Antonio?

What are the trends for 2020?

San Antonio is becoming well known for its startup expertise in these areas:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and big data
  • More sectors disrupted by AI-driven SaaS providing solutions in the legal, insurance, energy, and finance industries
  • Leveraging business to customer (B2C) pipeline for business to business (B2B) expansion
  • Robotics, autonomous technologies, and deep tech (startup companies based on substantial scientific advances and high tech engineering innovation)

We’re also seeing more startups from Austin and elsewhere invested in (and mentored) by San Antonio venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.  Companies such as the Austin-based Cliently are in Active Capital’s portfolio. At the same time, RealCo works with remote teams such as BetterYou (located in St. Paul, MN) and the Austin-based HackNotice.

San Antonio startups to watch in 2020

These 10 new companies (and one honorable mention) leverage innovation in impactful ways with promising early-stage traction and market-product fit to show for their efforts. 

In our research, we considered startups that:

  • Are privately-owned company
  • Have revenue potential (if they are pre-revenue)
  • Generate $5 million or less in revenue
  • With 50 or fewer employees
  • Have raised Series A or earlier funding rounds
  • Have been in existence for five years or less

Notice this is not a “best of” list or a list that ranks these early-stage companies according to a defining metric, such as annual revenue. Also, we listed them in alphabetical order.

Here's our list of San Antonio startups to watch in 2020. Click To Tweet

Allosense founder Roman Sandoval applied to the competitive awards-based Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and won a Phase 1 SBIR award for $50,000 in December 2019 for his patent-pending smart sensors that can track assets.

Read more: Geekdom Startup Allosense Wins Air Force Funding for Asset Trackers

Cyber Warrior Network founder (and U.S. Air Force veteran) Nigel LeBlanc launched the first cyber skills training and verification video game powered by artificial intelligence. Watch for LeBlanc’s efforts to manifest with the introduction of exciting cyber-focused e-gaming tournaments and new cyber e-gaming leagues in 2020.

Read more: CyberWraith Video Game New Way to Close Cybersecurity Workforce Gap

Easy Expunctions is the first and only online automated expunctions provider in the legal tech space. This startup is a B2C engine driving a much larger B2B vision for social impact.

Read more: Easy Expunctions Shares Vision for Social Impact

Enflux developed its analytics software to track student performance as a service for health science universities, a leading indicator for schools maintaining accreditation status.

Read more: A Big Partnership for Higher Ed Data Analytics, Enflux Partners with ExamSoft

The FloatMe app enables workers to get a “float” or short-term advance on their next paycheck without paying hefty fees or interest. With a waiting list of over 70,000 customers eager to use the service, the FloatMe team has tapped into an urgent need people have in managing their finances.

Read more: Fintech Startup FloatMe Closes $250,000 Pre-Seed Round

Leaptran‘s innovative products help manage increased demands for energy by integrating building energy management. The startup is in EPIcenter‘s incubator program and has secured commercial contracts for its advanced sub-metering package of advanced technologies that helps large buildings optimize energy use.  

Read moreUTSA Startup Leaptran Wins Award for Sustainable Energy Innovation

Quickpath is a big data analytics software startup that uses its cloud-based software application program interface, or API, to help businesses lacking the specialized AI expertise to connect the different datasets that fuel machine learning AI. The company has added 20 percent to its workforce and more than doubled its average deal size in the last six months.

Read more: Big Data Analytics Startup Quickpath Scaling as Machine Learning-Powered AI Demand Grows

Rectify was founded by Melissa Unsell-Smith and Lisa McComb in May 2018 after they created an artificial intelligence algorithm to automate the redaction of sensitive data. The data protection and privacy company won the top prize at the inaugural TechFuel pitch competition and is closing in on redacting one million pages for its clients.  So far, the value of fines they have averted for their clients is $20 million.

Read more: Data Privacy Startup Rectify Wins $50K Prize at Tech Fuel Pitch Competition

Renu Robotics manufactures self-running mowers that don’t need supervision to help solar power operations reduce their maintenance and labor costs. The $24 billion opportunity in the U.S. alone reflects the many large-scale solar farms that need this system to reduce operational costs. 

Read more: Renu Robotics Uses Crowdfunding to Scale Autonomous Robotic Tractors Company

Sendspark is a video outreach platform for businesses to record and send personalized videos via email to buyers. Users can use the Sendspark platform to record videos from a browser, customize video landing pages, share videos through email or a public URL, and track analytics.

 

Read more: SendSpark Closes $300,000 Pre-Seed Round Led by Active Capital

Honorable mention

Lux Turn Technologies won the top prize at Trinity University’s Louis H. Stumberg Venture Competition for their after-market motorcycle signal accessory that illuminates the ground with signals for better cyclist safety. Finance majors Robert Magee and Chris Stewart (who both graduate in 2021) are sharp founders determined to grow their company.

Read more: Cycling Safety Tech Startup Wins Trinity University’s Stumberg Venture Competition

The featured image is of Rectify co-founders Melissa Unsell-Smith (left) and Lisa McComb, who won the first-place prize of $50,000 at the 2019 Tech Fuel pitch competition. Photo credit: Startups San Antonio.

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