Austin Weekly Deal Highlights - Jan 17, 2021
Let’s see, where to begin. I could start with something negative, like how (arguably) the most significant cybersecurity breach in US history is now named after Austin-based SolarWinds, who was at the center of the compromise. But why do that when there were so many great things to happen this week, like Bumble filing their IPO paperwork, Everlywell raising an additional $75M, and Molecula announcing their $17.6M Series A! So here we go, after months of speculation, it appears dating and networking app Bumble will finally make its IPO debut this quarter, after filing its S1 on Friday. The company, which boasts 42 million monthly active users in 150 countries, and $416M in revenue for the 9 months ending in September, is set to capitalize on an incredibly frothy IPO market that has persisted into 2021. The company was last valued at $3B in November of 2019, when Blackstone bought a majority stake, and is reportedly seeking a valuation of $6-8B in the IPO. Austin had a great year of IPO’s in 2020, and Bumble is set to keep up that trend into 2021, buckle up!
But what else happened this week? Honestly yall, I’ve probably experienced the most significant life event that I may ever encounter. Let’s have a quick moment of silence for my dear friend: quality sleep, who’s been missing in action since our beautiful baby boy was born on Friday at 1:17am. I couldn’t be happier to be a father, but holy cow, I’m about as useful as a hard drive with $240M of bitcoin but a forgotten password. All jokes aside, here’s to all the mothers out there, who give real meaning to the words hard work.
Austin Financing Activity
Everlywell, an at-home health testing company, raised an additional $75M from HealthQuest Capital following its recent $175M Series D it announced in December at a $1.3B valuation.
M-Files Corp, a content- and data-organization tools software company based in Finland with its North American HQ in Austin, raised $80M from Bregal Milestone, Partech Partners, Tesi, and Draper Espirit. To date, the company has raised approx. $127M.
Bold Commerce, a provider of enterprise eCommerce solutions based in Austin and Winnipeg, raised $27M ($35M CAD) in Series B funding. OMERS Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Whitecap Venture Partners and Round 13 Capital.
Milestone Brands, an alcoholic beverage company, raised approx. $21M from undisclosed investors. To date, the company has raised approx. $53M.
Molecula Corp, a store built for machine-scale analytics and AI, closed a $17.6M Series A led by Drive Capital with participation from Total Technology Ventures, Tensility, Seraph Group, Lontra Ventures, Velar Capital, Tom Meredith (former CFO at Dell and partner at Brightstar Capital Partners), Andrew Busey, Jason Dorsey, and Amy and John Porter. To date, the company has raised approx. $24M.
Loop, an AI-based auto insurance services company, received $3.25M in seed funding led by Freestyle Capital.
Kronologic, an AI-based scheduling platform, reported raising just over $2.6M in funding from undisclosed investors. To date the company has raised approx. $6M.
Sustainment, a software company that connects suppliers and customers, raised a $2.1M round led by Blackhorn Ventures, with participation from Congress Avenue Ventures and undisclosed angel investors.
Austin IPO and SPAC Activity
Now its official, Austin-based dating and networking app Bumble Inc. filed paperwork Friday for an initial public offering. It was not immediately clear how much the company hopes to raise from the IPO or what its valuation may be. In September, Bloomberg reported the company would seek a valuation of $6 billion to $8 billion. The company reported revenue of $416.6 million for 2020 through Sept. 30th and a net loss of $116.7 million. That compares to $488.9 million in revenue for 2019 and net earnings of $68.6 million and $360.1 million in revenue and a net loss of $23.6 million for 2018.
EQ Health Acquisition Corp, an Austin-based SPAC created to acquire healthcare companies, raised $160M in its IPO.
Austin M&A Activity
The acquisition is completed for Austin-based cybersecurity firm Forcepoint by PE firm Francisco Partners for $1.1B (sum per Pitchbook). The company was acquired by aerospace giant Raytheon Technologies for $1.9B in 2015. Forcepoint also announced Manny Rivelo as its new CEO. Rivelo was previously CCO of Arista Networks and CEO of AppViewX.
Austin-based work and portfolio management company Planview is planning to make two acquisitions, just weeks after itself being bought out in a $1.6B deal. Planview is acquiring San Mateo-based Clarizen and Seattle-based Changepoint. Terms of the deals weren’t announced.
Other Regional Deal Activity
HX Venture Fund, an investor in LiveOak which aims to grow Houston’s venture capital ecosystem, is raising $75M for its second fund-of-funds.
NCR (NYSE: NCR) offered to acquire Cardtronics (Nasdaq: CATM), a Houston-based ATM company, for $39/share (over $1.7 billion), beating Apollo Global Management. On Dec 15, , Cardtronics entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired Apollo Global Management and Hudson Executive Capital, for $35 per share in cash.
Fort Worth-based investment firm TPG with several recent headlines. TPG disclosed that it will raise a new fund dedicated to climate-focused businesses, and that former Treasury Sec. Hank Paulson has joined the firm to help run it. Additionally, it took a majority stake in New York-based HR software company Greenhouse for $500M. Also, TPG Capital was the lead investor on a $300M Series C for Utah-based credit union and bank data fintech startup MX. TPG Growth was the lead investor for a $125M Series B from Canadian edtech startup Prodigy Education.
Houston-based 2nd.MD, a video consultation platform for the medical industry, reached an agreement to be acquired by Pennsylvania-based employee benefits technology company, Accolade for $460M. The transaction is expected to close by the end of February 2021.
BlueRiver Acquisition Corp, a San Antonio-based SPAC created to acquire technology, media, telecommunications or entertainment companies, raised $250M in its IPO.
EZLynx, a Lewisville, TX-based insurance agency software provider, entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Applied Systems, via its financial sponsors CapitalG, Hellman & Friedman, JMI Equity and Stone Point Capital.
Houston-based NuProbe, an early cancer detection technology company, received $42M in funding from Yonghua Capital and BioTrack Capital with participation from Panlin Capital and other investors. To date, the company has raised approx. $60M.
Dallas-based Gig Wage, a web-based payments platform raised an additional $2.5M in its Series A for a total of $10M. The round was led by Green Dot and Foundry Group. Continental Investors, Revolution and Techstars also participated in the round. To date, the company has raised approx. $13M.
Houston-based Twister Biotech, a gene therapy company focusing on rare cancers and autoimmune diseases, raised $1.1M from BCM Technologies.
San Antonio-based EO2 Concepts, a healthcare technology company that focuses on healing difficult wounds, raised $1M from undisclosed investors. To date, the company has raised approx. $18M.
Elm Street Technology, a Frisco-based real estate technology solutions company, acquired North Carolina-based real estate transaction software company Flow ROI. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hyliion (NYS: HYLN), which makes all electric power trains for tractor-trailers, has named Sherri Baker as the company’s CFO. She was previously CFO and Senior VP at PGT Innovations. Hyliion made its public market debut in Q4 2020, and has a market cap of $2.5B.
Outdoorsy, an RV rental marketplace, announced that it launched an insurtech division called Roamly. Additionally, the company hired former Airbnb global product leader, Kevin Swint, who will serve as chief product officer. The company also hired Ryan Eldridge, a former developer at MetroMile, who will serve as the VP of engineering at Roamly. The company also announced it’s on track to reach $1B in transactions on its platform by the end of the quarter.
KUNGFU.AI, an AI services company, hired former founder and CEO of Salsa AI, Steve Elmore as its head of client services.
Truelytics, a wealth management recruiting and management platform, recently announced that it moved its headquarters from Boston to Austin, and also made the following executive changes: Jeremi Karnell was announced CEO of Truelytics and Ian Karnell to CRO
Unfortunately for Austin-based SolarWinds, who was at the center of the recent wide-ranging, still-unfolding data breach, things aren’t blowing over soon. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike released a technical analysis of the malware for the breach which is now known as SolarWinds.The hackers used clever tricks to surreptitiously install so-called backdoors in software code used across corporate America and at least about a dozen federal agencies
data.world, a cloud-native data catalog company and LiveOak portfolio company, has become the world’s largest open data community, hitting the milestone of more than one-million accounts have now been activated across their enterprise and community data platforms.
Laurence Innovation launches pre-seed fund to invest in fourth industrial revolution tech companies
California’s Texodus: They came for business and stayed for paradise
Techstars Austin announced its 2021 cohort
SKU, an Austin-based CPG accelerator, announced its latest startup cohort for Austin
Beam, a Austin-based non-profit focused on women-led startups, announced that six companies will receive funding, and applications for the network’s next funding round are open
Austin was named the ninth best city to work from home in, based on employments rates, affordable housing, and Census data.
DivInc announced the nominees for its third annual Champions of Change Awards in Austin.
Digital Realty, a data center operator, is moving its headquarters from San Francisco to Austin.
Austin Public Health COVID-19 vaccination registration is expected to open this week.
The cost difference between California and Texas explained
2 innovative Austin companies named finalists for prestigious $10 million prize for addressing critical issues across the state – JUST Community and Texas Water Trade
NRA filing for bankruptcy, moving from New York to Texas
Omni Hotels & Resorts is in talks to sell five hotels, including in Dallas and Austin, to London & Regional Properties for around $150 million
Thank you! Mason Rathe, an early stage investor with LiveOak Venture Partners Additional research and newsletter support provided by Dipesh Mehta