Follow the Money: Impact Shares Gets $1M from Rockefeller Foundation, Phynd Adds $4M in VC round

You'll also find news from WiredScore, Jacobs Engineering, BNSF Railway and GE Transportation, as well as Bay Capital Ventures and Eyevance. Here are notable funding and acquisition deals with North Texas ties.

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What companies are finding funding or having a big exit? From startup investments to grants to acquisitions, Dallas Innovates tracks what’s happening in North Texas money every Thursday. Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay in the loop.

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Nonprofit ETF Impact Shares gets $1M from Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation has given a $1 million grant to Dallas-based Impact Shares, which says it is the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit exchange-traded fund (ETF). Impact Shares will use the money to expand its partnerships with leading nonprofits and transform its social values into products ripe for investment.

“The rise of impact investing, coupled with the growth in ETFs, opens the doors for organizations and charitable groups to generate more awareness about their causes, while creating an additional revenue stream that helps fuel their social missions,” Impact Shares CEO Ethan Powell said in a release.

The funding was awarded through the foundation’s Zero Gap innovative finance portfolio, and it highlights the potential for Impact Shares to engage retail investors in the socially responsible investing movement, according to Impact Shares. Earlier this year, Impact Shares successfully launched the Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NYSE: NACP), Impact Shares YWCA Women’s Empowerment ETF (NYSE: WOMN) and the Impact Shares Sustainable Development Goals Global Equity ETF (NYSE: SDGA) in partnership with the NAACP, YWCA and UNCDF, respectively.

Impact Shares will donate the net advisory proceeds it receives from each fund it sponsors back to the collaborating partner nonprofit. That creates meaningful engagement with corporate America and provides the investing public with more targeted and credible social-impact investing options, Impact Shares said.

Phynd Technologies adds $4M in VC funding round

Dallas-based health-care information SaaS solution provider Phynd Technologies Inc. announced that it raised $4 million in an October venture funding round, bringing its total to $7.3 million over find rounds beginning in 2013.

Founded in 2013 by Thomas White, Phynd offers health systems a solution of SaaS applications and services that gathers, manages, and shares provider data, according to Crunchbase. Across the nation, 140 hospitals managing 500,000 patients use the company’s Enterprise Provider Data Management solution, according to Phynd.

WiredScore raises $9M in Series A funding

WiredScore, the global rating system for digital connectivity in commercial real estate buildings, raised $9 million in a Series A funding round that will support its geographic expansion and growth in new product and service areas, the company announced this week.

The New York City-based WireScore — which has made Dallas one of its flagship markets — was launched in 2016, and the Series A raise in 2018 follows a year of domestic and global growth propelled by an influx of commercial real estate firms that have prioritized investment into their digital connectivity strategies.

WiredScore said that the funding comes from Bessemer Venture Partners, Fifth Wall, Sterling.VC, and leading global commercial real estate investors, including Legal & General, KingSett Capital, U+I, Town Centre Securities, MOMENI Digital Ventures, and Savitt Partners.

$22.6M grant backs BNSF, GE in developing all-battery electric locomotive

The loud roar of a diesel locomotive hurtling down railroad tracks is a familiar sound in some areas of North Texas. But, what would you think of an all-battery electric locomotive that’s quieter and produces lower emissions?

Fort Worth-based railroad giant BNSF Railway, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is partnering locomotive manufacturing titan GE Transportation on a pilot project to develop just such a vehicle. GE Transportation has a large locomotive manufacturing plant in North Fort Worth near Texas Motor Speedway.

The companies’ announcement comes after BNSF and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District preliminarily were awarded a $22.6 million grant to pilot lower-emission technologies in and around rail yards.

“This project will give us tremendous insight into the capabilities of battery power and the best operational methods of leveraging the technology,” Dominique Malenfant, vice president of Global Technology for GE Transportation, said in a statement. “It will accelerate the development of this cleaner, more efficient solution for the freight rail industry.”

BNSF said it is pursuing other emission-reducing projects, along with the GE locomotive. The grant will pay for roughly half of the cost of projects — including the GE locomotive, which the companies said is expected to cost roughly $45 million.

OTHER FUNDING

The Dallas Business Journal reported that two former managers for the in-house investment office of Cook Children’s Health Care System have started a new Fort Worth-based venture capital firm intent on raising up to $150 million. Citing a filing, the DBJ said that Bay Capital Ventures is linked to an investment company out of Mumbai called Bay Capital, and is being led by Patrick O’Connor and Apurva Mehta.  

The Business Journal also reported on the likelihood that The Cedars area near downtown Dallas could get a new brewhouse. The publication said that Deanitude Brewing Co. is trying to raise up to $1.3 million from investors, citing a filing.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Jacobs sells energy unit to Australian company for $3.3B

funding

Steve Demetriou

Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group announced that it is selling it Houston-based energy and chemicals business to WorleyParsons, a construction and engineering firm headquartered in Australia, for $3.3 billion.

The Houston unit employs more than 2,000 workers in that area.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the deal represents a sizeable shift in the energy engineering and construction sector because it signals Jacobs leaving oil and gas, and WorleyParsons becoming a considerable force in the U.S. energy industry. 

Jacobs Chairman and CEO Steve Demetriou told the Chronicle that the company was looking to sell the business unit, but that WorleyParsons made a premium-priced offer.

Health-care acquisition could impact DFW physicians

Connecticut-based Cedar Gate Technologies bought Houston’s Global Health Alliance, and with it Global Health’s technology called Axia.

The move will allow Cedar Gate to improve prospective bundled payment programs, and Axia automates those bundled payments and manages payment between payers and providers.

How will this impact North Texas? According to D CEO Healthcare, Dallas-area CardioVascular Care Providers signed a 20-year agreement with GHA, which specializes in value-based care management. CaradioVascular Care Providers is a network of nearly 400 integrated cardiovascular physicians — among them some of the leading heart doctors in North Texas.

Eyevance acquires eye medication FLAREX from Novartis AG

Fort Worth-based pharma Eyevance Pharmaceuticals announced that is has acquired FLAREX (fluorometholone acetate ophthalmic suspension) 0.1 percent from Novartis AG. 

FLAREX is approved in the U.S., and is indicated for the treatment of steroid responsive inflammatory conditions of the palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva, cornea, and anterior segment of the eye, Eyevance said in a release

“The acquisition of FLAREX escalates Eyevance’s mission to serve important needs in the eye care market,” Eyevance CEO and director Jerry St. Peter said in a release. No financial terms of the acquisition were released.

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