Matthew McConaughey is more than an Oscar-winning actor. He is the “Minister of Culture” of the University of Texas. He is a professor at UT and a best-selling author. And he is a co-owner of Austin FC, the Major League Soccer team.
But did you know that the Austin celebrity also invests in startups?
McConaughey has a stake in several companies, and one of them turns out to be based in Austin. In an email interview with fast company magazine, McConaughey revealed he was an investor in Workrise, an Austin-based company whose workforce management platform connects skilled workers with employers in the energy sector.
As an investor, McConaughey says he seeks companies “that aim to uplift, empower, build, redefine, and bring new or renewed health to individuals, communities, and systems.” .
Formerly known as RigUp, Workrise changed its name in early 2021. Since its inception eight years ago, the company has raised $752.5 million from major investors including 137 Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Baillie Gifford, Bedrock Capital, Brookfield Growth Partners, Founders Fund, Franklin Templeton and Moore Strategic Ventures.
“We founded RigUp in 2014 on the premise that technology could be used to more efficiently source skilled labor in the oil and gas industry. In the years that followed, we found that our approach could be taken further; we could help address a much larger socio-economic shift in the infrastructure sector,” co-founder and CEO Xuan Yong said last year.
“Today, Workrise reflects our goal to close the skilled labor gap in industries, leverage technology and data to empower skilled workers – and, in turn, the economy as a whole. — so the United States can prepare for an infrastructure renaissance,” he added.
Just over a year after its rebrand, Workrise has laid off an undisclosed number of employees and streamlined its business offerings. Prior to the layoffs, the company was valued at $2.9 billion.
“Filling the skilled labor gap will be critical to our continued economic growth and recovery, and Workrise is at the forefront of that effort,” said Allen Narcisse, chief operating officer at Workrise, last year. “Workrise has already proven that traditional ways of staffing large projects are ripe for disruption.”
This article was originally published on CultureMap.