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Austin Weekly Deal Highlights - Jan 24, 2021

Is another card flipping over in this game of Texas Hold ‘em? After Tesla, Apple, and Facebook all announced major Austin expansions, Samsung wants in on the action and may have a $10B facility in the works. So let’s see, in addition to these staggering corporate investments, Austin hit a massive $2.26B in venture raised in 2020 comprising of a record set of later stage rounds and healthy proportion of early stage funding. I’d say it’s time to dig up the cash in the backyard and go all in, but then again, I am a gambling man 😉. Speaking of gambles, looks like short sellers lost their shirts over North Texas based GameStop last week. After receiving a ton of interest the other week when I mentioned the idea of an Austin Starter Pack, to help those new to Austin get plugged in and expedite their transformation into full Austinite, we went ahead and made it a thing- check it out. And please, if there is any feedback on what you want included here, or general questions about the Austin ecosystem, let me know!

Austin Financing Activity

  • Quali, a cloud infrastructure automation company that is based in Israel and recently announced Austin as North American HQ, raised $54 million in funding. Greenfield Partners and JVP co-led the round.

  • Removery, a tattoo removal services company, raised $50M from Elliott Management. To date, the company has raised approx. $60M.

  • Acadeum, a company that helps colleges share online, raised $4M. To date, the company has raised approx. $11M from investors including LearnStart, Rethink Capital Partners, and Socratic Ventures.

  • Backtracks, a podcast management and data analytics company, noted a pre-series A round of $1.6M. Investors include Moonshots Capital, KLI Capital, Bull Creek Capital, Sputnik ATX and Bench Management along with individual investors Ross Hoffman and Vivek Garipalli. To date, the company has raised approx. $4M.

  • After premiering on Shark Tank: Slice of Sauce, a vegan sliced condiments company, received $200k in debt that would convert to a 15% equity stake when the company reaches $1.8M in sales from Alex Rodriguez on the January 15 episode of Shark Tank.

  • ENTvantage Dx, an in-office diagnostic test kit company focused on ear, nose, and throat illnesses, raised $1.14M from undisclosed investors. To date, the company has raised $6.6M.

  • Esportz Network, an online news and entertainment platform for esports, raised $500k of angel funding from undisclosed investors.

Austin M&A Activity

  • Austin-based Vista Equity Partners is selling San Jose-based work collaboration software company Wrike Inc. to Citrix for $2.25B. Wrike was acquired by Vista for $800M in 2018, and it counts companies like Airbnb, Google, and Snowflake as customers. The logic behind the deal for Cisco taps into the distributed workforce trend.

  • Austin-based Upland Software (NAS: UPLD), a provider of cloud-based enterprise work management software, acquired St. Louis-based audience engagement software company Second Street Media for $30M.

  • 83bar, software that focuses on patient journeys for clinical trials, landed an undisclosed investment from San Diego-based private equity firm HCAP.

Other Regional Deal Activity

  • Partners Group acquired a control stake in Idera, a Houston-based provider of database lifecycle management software, at around a $3B valuation from TA Associates and HGGC (both of which retain minority equity stakes).

  • Houston-based Preventice Solutions, a digital healthcare solutions company, will be acquired by Boston Scientific which values Preventice at $1.2B in cash and stock, inclusive of Boston Scientific’s existing 22% stake. Preventice had raised around $230M from firms like Vivo Capital, Merck & Co., Novo Holdings, Samsung Catalyst Fund and Revelation Partners.

  • Signify Health, a Dallas-based healthcare tech platform, filed for an IPO and plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol SGFY. Singify is a portfolio company of HarbourVest Partners and Town Hall Ventures.

  • Dallas-based investment firms Hudson Advisors, New Age Capital and Maverick Ventures raised $219M, $50M, and $116M, respectively.

  • Plano-based Tyler Technologies, a government tech solutions company, landed a 5 year $98M agreement for the Texas Office of Court Administration to extend their use of the company’s eFileTexas filing solution.

  • H.I.G. acquired Continental Batteries, a Dallas-based secondary market for electric vehicle batteries, from Incline Equity Partners. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

  • Houston-based Allterum Therapeutics, a healthcare startup that focuses on battling pediatric cancer, raised $1.8M in seed funding from an investor group related to Fannin Innovation Studio, which focuses on commercialization of biotech and medtech discoveries.

  • Trilliant Surgical, a Houston-based med device company for the foot and ankle, was acquired by DJO Global, a subsidiary of Colfax (NYS: CFX), for an undisclosed amount.

  • Dallas-based Pieces Technology, a healthcare AI startup, has acquired Dallas-based data management and analytics company, Bowtie Business Intelligence for an undisclosed sum.

Austin People

  • Volcon, an all-electric recreational vehicle company, announced it added Chris Worden as director of marketing and Richard Magness as head of digital. Worden was most recently senior communications manager at Red Bull Media House, and Magness was previously director of design at ibble and visual design lead at Honda R&D Americas.

  • Dan Parker stepped down as deputy CIO for Texas Tech, in order to become managing director at a still-stealth new company, per his LinkedIn. He’s a former private equity investor with BlackRock.

Austin News

  • Samsung could be planning $10B chipmaking plant in Austin. The world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker purchased about 258 acres in late October near its campus off East Parmer Lane and got the city’s approval to rezone it.

  • Business Insider: Austin has attracted the likes of Oracle, Palantir, and SpaceX, among others. Here’s what it’s like inside Texas’s growing tech hub.

  • As reported last week, dating app operator Bumble filed for an IPO, making it one of the few IPOs in recent years of a company helmed by a woman. Bumble’s valuation should be much higher than the $3B price tag pegged when Blackstone took a majority stake in late 2019. Online dating competitor Match’s shares have gone up more than 80% since early 2020; and its enterprise-value-to-revenue figure is near 20x. That puts Bumble’s equity value at more than $10 billion, after accounting for nearly $400 million in net debt. Set to debut around Valentine’s Day, Bumble’s road to a public market debut has not been an easy one. In 2018, Match sued Bumble over its swipe feature, alleging it was stolen intellectual property, and Bumble hit back. The duo settled the litigation in June.

  • Zillow: No housing market will be hotter than Austin’s in 2021

  • Semiconductor company Applied Materials (NAS: AMAT) is expanding with 729,000-square-foot warehouse in Austin

  • New report shows how much it pays to work in tech in Austin. The median annual pay for an Austin-area tech job stood at $85,640 in 2019. By comparison, the median annual pay for all occupations sat at $41,560.

  • Goal Acquisitions Corp, a special purpose acquisitions company that will target pro sports teams, media, and other brand-name companies is looking to raise $225M.

  • New study names Texas one of the best states for women-led startups

  • Austin ranks on top for best US capital to live in

  • Austin’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.1% in December, trending closer to pre-pandemic levels which hovered around 3%.

  • Sentry Kiosk, an autonomous machine company that specializes in taking temperatures, check for COVID-19 symptoms and proper mask wearing has relocated from Minnesota to Austin.

Thank you! Mason Rathe, an early stage investor with LiveOak Venture Partners Additional research and newsletter support provided by Dipesh Mehta

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