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DFW Deal Highlights - Q4 2020

What is happening DFW! Unfortunately I’m not here to tell you the Cowboys are going to make the playoffs…but it’s the next best thing - your Q4 venture highlights! As a reminder, this newsletter will be coming to you periodically to catch you up on the tech and startup ecosystem in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, from fundraising, mergers and acquisitions, to other major company announcements and news.

What a year, but at least things have been pretty calm thus far in 2021…. Anyway, it was quite a year for venture funding in DFW! Nearly doubling what we did in 2019, venture funding for 2020 came in at $1.3B! What’s great to see is that deal flow was healthy year round, with $307M funded in Q4, a number that was up 128% year over year. Notable venture deals for the quarter include Alkami’s $140M Series F, Bestow’s $70M, and Cellwize’s $32M Series B. On the private equity front, we also saw massive deals from companies including ISN and Caris Life Sciences. Furthermore, we had a notable amount of M&A activity in the tech and healthcare sector for the year (108 deals), including a few monster recent announcements – Realpage for $10.2B and HMS for $3.4B. These many exits typically mean that talent cycles back into the economy, joining the amazing growing companies we have, and creating the next cohort of influential startups.

Here at LiveOak Venture Partners, we continue to be huge advocates for the DFW region, funding both Mercado and Take Command Health this year. We are the most active early stage tech investor in Texas for a reason, so drop me a note if you know of anything that may be of interest. Fundraising for startups is tough, but let’s not have VC accessibility be on the top of your list of difficulties. Simply respond to this email if you are in the market, and I promise to give you my time.

Venture Funding in DFW



Notable Q4 Financing Activity (includes private equity deals not in above venture numbers)

  • Dallas-based ISN, a third-party contractor and supplier management software company, received an estimated $500M from Blackstone, which valued the company at $2B.

  • Irving-based Caris Life Sciences, a biotech company specializing in cancer treatment agents, raised $310M in development capital Highland Capital Management, Coatue Management and other investors. To date, the company has raised $465M.

  • Alkami Technology, a Plano-based cloud-based digital banking solution, raised $140M in funding. D1 Capital Partners led the round Fidelity Management & Research Company, Franklin Templeton, and Stockbridge Investors. The company has raised approx. $390M from investors including Austin-based S3 Ventures and Wild Basin Investments.

  • Dallas-based Bestow, a digital life insurance company, raised a $70M Series C from Sammons Financial Group, Breyer Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

  • Southlake-based Cellwize, a mobile network automation platform, raised a $32M Series B led by Sonae IM, Intel Capital and Qualcomm Ventures. To date, the company has raised about $57M.

  • Southlake-based cancer prevention and drug discovery company, OncoNano Medicine, raised a $21M round from undisclosed investors. To date, the company has raised approx. $57M.

  • Greenville-based Exos Aerospace, a developer of reusable space launch vehicles, raised $20M in seed funding from undisclosed investors, according to Pitchbook.

  • Fort Worth-based Acutate Therapeutics, a cancer treatment company, raised $14M from undisclosed investors. To date, the company has raised approx. $30M.

  • Dallas-based web-based payments platform company, Gig Wage raised a $7.5M Series A led by Green Dot with participation from Continental Investors, Revolution and Techstars. To date, the company has raised $10.5M.

  • Fort Worth-based Linear Labs, a maker of energy efficient electric motors and generators, raised $6M in funding. Investors included Champion Hill, Lowercarbon Capital, Kindred Ventures, Gen Fukunaga, Duke Angel Network, Spike Ventures, and Moving Capital.

  • Southlake-based PawTree, a petfood company, raised $5.8M from undisclosed investors. To date, the company has raised approx. $20M.

  • Frisco-based Apty, a training and management software company, announced closing $5.4M in post-seed money. The round was led by Companyon Ventures and joined by Gaingels, Mediaapps, MyAsia, and Creative Co Capital.

  • Dallas-based Adaptive 3D, a 3D printing company, raised a $5.1M Series B, from Arkema Group as the lead investor.

  • Dallas-based RefineRE, a real estate data management platform, raised $3M from undisclosed investors. To date, the company has raised over $4M.

  • Fort Worth-based CoreCare, a healthcare focused platform that automatically monitors their data for errors, raised $3M of seed funding from Amplifyher Ventures, MAC Ventures, and Primetime Partners.

  • Plano-based VitalTech, a remote patient monitoring and user engagement platform, sold a 6% stake to Tech Mahindra for $3M. To date, the company has raised approx. $13M.

  • Dallas-based Dialectic Therapeutics, a biotechnology company specializing in anti-cancer drugs, raised $2.9M in debt and other options out of a total $5M offering. 12 investors joined the raise.

  • McKinney-based ShearShare, a platform that allows stylists and barbers to book chairs, raised a $2.3M seed round, bringing its total funding to $3.4M. Existing investors: Precursor Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Structure Capital, Backstage Capital, and 500 Startups all participated in the round and were joined by other local investors.

  • Ideal Implant, a Dallas-based provider of artificial breast implants, raised $2.3M of venture funding from American Financial Group.

  • Southlake-based Mindzie, a business process optimization software company, raised $2.3M from undisclosed angel investors.

  • Dallas-based MediBookr, a healthcare platform to help locate transparent options, raised $2.29M of convertible debt financing from undisclosed investors.

  • Plano-based Flourish Change, a micro donating mobile platform, raised $2.2M in angel funding from undisclosed investors.

  • Plano-based TrueSpot raised $1.5M to extend and grow its location intelligence platform for the automotive dealer industry.

  • Dallas-based Kanarys, an anonymous job review platform, raised $1.75M from undisclosed angel investors. To date, the company has raised $3.25M.

  • Botisimo, a Dallas-based chatbot software developer, raised $700k in its seed round from local software-focused operating partner Mason Bridge.

  • Dallas-based Hyphen Solutions, an online homebuilding software company, raised an undisclosed sum from GreyLion Capital and Stone Point Capital.

  • Dallas-based SignEasy, a mobile-first eSignature solution for businesses, raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding.



DFW M&A in Information Technology and Healthcare

Notable Q4 M&A

  • Richardson-based RealPage, a property management software company, is going private again through a $10.2B acquisition deal with private equity firm Thoma Bravo. The deal is expected to close in Q2 2021. RealPage is expected to operate under its current leadership in Richardson.

  • Irving-based HMS, a healthcare solutions company, will be acquired by Gainwell Technologies, a company in the same space. HMS shareholders will receive $37 per share which gives HMS an enterprise value of approx. $3.4B.

  • Dallas-based driving range entertainment company, Topgolf , was acquired by Callaway. The deal values Topgolf at $2B and the combined entity at $3.2B. Topgolf reportedly had been in talks to go public via a Michael Klein-led SPAC, and had received funding from Callaway, Providence Equity Partners, Dundon Capital, WestRiver Group, and Fidelity. *Not included in above graph.

  • Farmers Branch-based HYLA, a smartphone software company, was acquired by Assurant, a vehicle, mobile device and renter’s insurance company, for an estimated $325M. The company had raised over $300M from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Silver Lake, and TAP Advisors.

  • Plano-based CarOffer, an online auction platform for automobiles, was acquired by Massachusetts-based automotive shopping website CarGurus for $275M.

  • MedeAnalytics, a Richardson-based health care analytics platform, was acquired by JLL Partners for an estimated $225M. The company was previously acquired by Thoma Bravo in 2015.

  • Grand Prairie-based Neos Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company focused of central nervous system disorders, is merging with Colorado’s Aytu BioScience, a specialty pharmaceutical company, in a $45M all-stock deal.

  • Carrollton-based CheckpointID, an identity verification software specializing in the multi-family housing industry, was acquired by MRI Software, a real estate software company, via its financial sponsors TA Associates Management, Harvest Partners and GI Partners.

  • ExamSoft Worldwide, a Dallas-based assessment platform, was acquired by plagiarism detection service, Turnitin for an undisclosed sum.

  • Richardson-based StoneEagle F&I, a finance and insurance product administration platform designed for retail automotive industry, was acquired by Battery Ventures for an undisclosed sum.

  • Carrollton-based Insurance Technologies Corporation, a software company that helps clients manage the entire property and casualty lifecycle for independent insurance agents, was acquired by Milwaukee-based Saas company, Zywave, via its financial sponsors Clearlake Capital Group and Aurora Capital Group through an LBO for an undisclosed sum.

  • Allen-based Giact Systems, a risk management company for electronic payments, was acquired by financial data company, Refinitiv, via its financial sponsors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and The Blackstone Group, through an LBO for an undisclosed sum.

  • Plano-based SuccessEd, a SaaS-based educational service company, was acquired by school administration software company, Frontline Education, via its financial sponsors Ares Capital and Thoma Bravo for an undisclosed sum.

  • Plano-based CalcuQuote, an RFQ management system company, was acquired by Finnish telecommunications company, Elisa for an undisclosed sum.

  • Leonard Green & Partners agreed to buy ECI Software Solutions, a Fort Worth-based provider of business management software for SMBs, from Apax Partners (which will retain a minority stake) and The Carlyle Group.

  • Dallas-based Rent My Wardrobe, an online clothing renting application for women, was acquired by New York-based peer to peer clothing rental company, Wardrobe, for an undisclosed sum.

  • Dallas-based Abeo Management, a healthcare management software company, was acquired by Florida-based emergency medicine revenue management company DuvaSawko, via its financial sponsor Varsity Healthcare Partners, for an undisclosed sum.

  • Coppell-based RaiseDonors, a nonprofit fundraising platform has been acquired by Phoenix-based Virtuous, a company that is also a nonprofit fundraising platform, for an undisclosed amount.

  • ProcessWeaver, a Richardson-based shipping operations platform, was acquired by Elemica, via its financial sponsors Ares Capital, Eurazeo and L Capital, for an undisclosed amount.

  • FareCompare, a Plano-based fare comparison platform for travelers, was acquired by Turismocity for an undisclosed amount.

  • Richardson-based Bullymake, a dog treat and toy manufacturer, was acquired by Missouri-based Manna Pro Products, an animal nutrition care company, via its financial sponsor The Carlyle Group, through an LBO for an undisclosed sum.

Q4 IPO’s and SPAC Activity

  • Fort Worth-based TPG Pace Beneficial Finance Corp, a special purpose acquisition company that focuses on companies with strong ESG practices, acquired EV Charged BV, the electric vehicle charging port unit of French company Engie SA. This SPAC will take EV Charged BV public under the name EVBox Group with an expected valuation of $1.4B.

  • TPG Pace Tech Opportunities, the tech focused SPAC launched by Fort Worth- and San Francisco-based TPG completed its $450M IPO.

  • Dallas-based CBRE Acquisition Holdings, a blank check company formed by commercial real estate giant CBRE targeting growth companies, raised $350M in its initial public offering.

  • Dallas-based SPAC Spring Valley Acquisition Corp raised $200M in net proceeds in its IPO with the hopes of acquiring businesses focusing on sustainability, including clean energy and storage, smart grid/efficiency, environmental services and recycling, mobility, water and wastewater management, advanced materials and technology enabled services.

  • North Richland Hills-based SPAC Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp raised $115M with the intention of acquiring companies in the energy space.

  • Dallas-based SPAC Americas Technology Acquisition Corp. announces closing of $115M Initial Public Offering.

  • Irving-based ATM hardware and software solutions maker Hyosung America’s parent company Hyosung TNS announced plans to file for an IPO on the Korean Stock Exchange. There’s little word on details of the move at the moment. However, last year the company recorded a profit of $83M.

Recent News

  • Dallas stands out among the ‘Mighty Middle’ in venture capital investment growth

  • Per Dallas Business Journal, these are the North Texas tech companies to watch next year

  • The 21 North Texas startups to watch in 2021, per NTX Inno

  • DFW’s 25 Under 25, per NTX Inno

  • Here are the tech companies that relocated headquarters to DFW this year

  • D CEO Editors’ Favorite Business Stories of 2020

  • The autonomous truck stop? DFW emerging as hub as yet another firm looks to step up

  • Denton looks to create startup hub with moves to create over 150 jobs

  • Fort Worth and San Francisco-based TPG’s Rise Fund, raised over $2.1B in its 2nd global impact investing fund.

  • Tough year for retail, these are the North Texas retailers that filed for bankruptcy

  • Rent-A-Center to acquire Acima Holdings for $1.65 billion

  • RC Ventures increased its stake from 10% to 13% in Grapevine-based video game retailer, GameStop in an effort to push the retailer to move deeper into online retail.

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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