Follow the Money: Bios Partners Targeting $50M Fund, Mooala Raises $5M

From organic beverages to pharmaceuticals, here are some of the latest capital raises with North Texas ties.

Bios Partners

BIOS PARTNERS SET $50M GOAL FOR ITS SECOND FUND

Fort Worth-based venture capital firm Bios Partners announced it’s ready to raise its second fund, with a goal of $50 million.

Bios Partners invests in innovative, early-stage and growth-stage biotech and medical device companies. It is led by Aaron Fletcher, Leslie Kreis Jr., and Stella Robertson.

The firm’s portfolio already includes Encore Vision, Lung Therapeutics, Cognitive Therapeutics, Actuate Therapeutics, Anitra, 410 Medical, AbiliTech Medical, and Lantern Pharma.

Last year, Lung Therapeutics announced a $14.3 million series B round to help boost its trials in fibrosis, lung injury, and disease.

ORGANIC BEVERAGE BUSINESS MOOALA RAISES $5M

Mooala, the Dallas-based startup that is a purveyor of dairy-free beverages, has raised $5 million in a new funding round, the Dallas Business Journal reported. 

The publication said Mooala likely will make an announcement on the funding next week. Mooala’s products include original Almondmilk, vanilla bean Almondmilk, Bananamilk, and chocolate Bananamilk. 

Mooala was founded in 2016 by Jeff Richards to make organic, plant-based beverages of good quality and taste.

“Everything we make is organic, using real ingredients. Our products taste like what’s in them instead of being loaded down with thickeners and artificial flavors and colors,” Richards told Dallas Innovates in 2016.

PHARMA COMPANIES MAKE $13.3M, $700K RAISES

Two North Texas pharmaceutical industry companies controlled by Richard Appling both announced raises recently.

Hurst-based Right Value Drug Stores Inc. announced a $13.3 million debt-only raise, while Denton-based Appling Enterprises LLC announced a debt-only raise of $700,000.

CUBAN INVESTS IN CHICAGO AI STARTUP

Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is among a group of investors who have put money into Chicago-based AI startup Packback.

The startup announced Wednesday it has raised $4.2 million in a Series A round led by University Ventures.

Other investors, besides Cuban, include Wintrust Ventures and Wildcat Capital. Packback makes an AI-powered online discussion platform that is being used by schools across the nation.

According to a Chicago Inno report in the Dallas Business Journal, Packback’s tech aids professors in measuring a student’s response to written questions and essays, and lets professors in large lecture classes quantify hard-to-measure behaviors such as their critical-thinking skills. 

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountain announced this week that they will merge, creating a company with $11 billion in revenue. The deal will move control of Dr Pepper Snapple out of state, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Under the agreement, Dr Pepper Snapple shareholders will get $103.75 per share in a special dividend and they will retain a 13 percent stake in the combined company.

There’s more here.

Fort Worth-based AZZ Inc., announced that it has acquired Rogers Brothers Co., a privately held Illinois company. AZZ is a global provider of metal coatings services, welding solutions, specially electrical equipment, and highly engineered services to the power transmission, generation, distribution, and industrial markets. 

“This strategic acquisition supports AZZ’s goal of continued geographic expansion as well as portfolio expansion of its metal coating services,” said Tim Pendley, senior vice president and chief operating office of AZZ Metal Coatings, in a statement.

Find out more here.

Dallas-based digital technology consulting firm Quisitive LLC has been bought by Toronto, Canada-based Fusion Agiletech Partners Inc. According to a release. the deal will fund investments in blockchain product innovation and acquisition of IT services firms to drive Quisitive’s growth strategy in building one of the industry’s biggest Microsoft Consulting Services firms.

“Partnering with Fusion Agiletech is the catalyst to make that vision a reality by increasing our vertical market depth, deepening our technological expertise and expanding our geographical reach,” Quisitive CEO and President Mike Reinhart, said in the announcement.

Find out more here.

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Funding and Exit Successes

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