Follow the Money: AmplifAI Gets $3.9M, Offerpad Closes Series C Funding Round, JLL Buys HFF

You’ll also find news about Mark Cuban, Fastsigns International, Blucora, 1st Global Inc., Alcon, and Signify Health in this roundup of funding and acquisition activity involving investors and companies with ties to North Texas.


What companies are finding funding or having a big exit? From startup investments to grants and 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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AmplifAI Solutions announces $3.9M in Series A funding

Sean Minter is the founder and CEO of AmplifAI. [Photo: Rebeca Posadas-Nava]

Richardson-based AmplifAI Solutions Inc., which provides a performance acceleration platform for enterprise contact centers, announced it received  $3.9 million in a Series A funding round from Naya Ventures, LiveOak Venture Partners, and Capital Factory.

The funding will be used to scale marketing, sales, and customer success, as well as fund further expansion of the platform.

“AmplifAI’s industry leading Performance Acceleration Platform leverages the power of AI to improve sales and service performance,” Minter says. “AmplifAI’s data-driven approach accelerates performance by delivering personalized insights and actions across the enterprise resulting in dramatically improved business outcomes. Example of actual customer outcomes: 44 percent increase in sales, 27 percent increase in NPS, 9 percent increase in productivity.”

Offerpad closes Series C funding round, bringing the total raised to $975M

Offerpad, an Arizona-based real estate tech company that launched in Dallas-Fort Worth and Tucson late last year, announced that it closed a $565 million Series C funding round that brings its total money raised to $975 million.

The company said that the latest funding round includes equity from new investors as well as a debt facility line from Citibank. The round follows a $150 million round raised in May 2018.

Offerpad was launched in 2015 but officially opened for business in 2017 in what is called the “iBuyer” sector. Offerpad said the new funding will go toward bringing its model to additional cities nationwide.

Mark Cuban invests in Cluster’s $1.95M seed round

Mark Cuban

Dallas Mavericks owner, ‘Shark,’ and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban is one of seven investors in a $1.95 million seed funding round by Los Angeles-based Cluster.

The company is the first U.S. marketplace that matches Industry 4.0 skills to jobs in aviation, aerospace, defense, and automated companies in Southern California.

Cuban has also invested $550,000 in California-based Wild Earth Inc., a startup that says it reinvented pet food with biotechnology, during an episode of “Shark Tank” this week. Cuban’s investment gives him a 10 percent ownership stake.


JLL to acquire HFF in a deal valued at $2B

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. will acquire Dallas-based real estate brokerage HFF Inc. in a cash and stock deal valued at roughly $2 billion—a deal that will combine two major players in North Texas real estate.

Mark Gibson

As part of the acquisition, HFF CEO Mark Gibson will join JLL as CEO, Capital Markets, Americas. He also will be co-chair of its Global Capital Markets Board.

The move will make JLL a digital leader in the industry with superior team connectivity, improved back-end processes, and best-in-class client tools.

Chicago-based JLL is known for its CRE technology services that include advisory and consulting, software and infrastructure, spatial data services, and IWMS managed services. JLL intends to focus on a substantial multiyear investment plan, driving a digital DNA across the entire organization and capitalizing on the prop-tech aspects exemplified by JLL Spark.

Carrollton-based Fastsigns International is acquired

Fastsigns International Inc., a Carrollton-based signage and visual graphics company, has been acquired by LightBay Capital and Freeman Spogli & Co.

Fastsigns, founded in 1985, is the largest franchisor in the industry with its more than 700 locations around the world.

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. The new owners bought Fastsigns from Los Angeles-based private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

Blucora to acquire Dallas-based 1st Global Inc.

Irving-based tax-smart financial solutions provider Blucora Inc. announced that it is buying 1st Global Inc., a Dallas tax-focused wealth management company.

According to a release, 1st Global serves roughly 850 independent advisers with about $18 billion in total client assets and $9 billion in for-free advisory assets.

The companies said that the complementary nature of their business models will create many synergies and growth opportunities. The transaction should close in the second quarter of this year.

Signify Health acquires San Antonio-based TAVHealth

Farmers Branch-based Signify Health—a provider of technology-enabled, in-home care and complex care management services—has acquired TAVHealth, a San Antonio-based platform for risk-bearing and community-based organizations to address social determinants of health.

No terms of the deal were released.

Signify Health said it manages a nationwide network of 4,000 doctors and nurse practitioners delivering healthcare services in the home to over a million unique Medicare Advantage members yearly.

The company said that the acquisition of TAVHealth will add technology capabilities for Signify to directly manage SDOH needs on behalf of its clients.

Alcon acquires intraocular lens developer PowerVision

Fort Worth-based Alcon announced that it has acquired Silicon Valley-based intraocular lens developer PowerVision in a deal valued at $285 million. Alcon is a division of the Swiss pharma giant Novartis.

According to a release, PowerVision is developing fluid-based intraocular lens implants, which use the eye’s own natural response to transport fluid into the implanted lens. The fluid-based lens creates a continuously variable monofocal lens using the natural contractions of the eye’s muscles. That allows a patient to actively focus on objects in a style similar to a young eye’s crystalline lens.

Standard Industrial merges with DH Pump and Supply

Weatherford-based DH Pump and Supply LLC has merged with Standard Industrial Manufacturing Partners LLC, a portfolio company of Dallas-based Hicks Equity Partners.

No financial terms of the deal were released. 

Standard is based in Odessa and has additional manufacturing facilities in Granbury. Hicks Equity Partners is the private equity arm of the Thomas O. Hicks family office.


Follow the Money: Pieces Technologies Gets $5M, CallBox Seeks $15M, TPG Makes Acquisition

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