Follow the Money: Crescent Raises $24.6M for Fund; Geoforce Sells Majority Stake; NTT Data Services Makes Acquisition

In this weekly roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity in North Texas, you'll also find news about Mark Cuban, Crestline Investors, Maverick Fitness Holdings, Texas Ventures, MoneyGram, Caregiver Inc., Vertical Communications, and Strait Lane Capital.

funding

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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Crescent Real Estate raises $24.6M pooled investment fund

John Goff’s Crescent Real Estate in Fort Worth has raised $24.6 million of a $37.6 million equity pooled investment fund called GPIF Multi II LP, according to paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Founded in 1998, Crescent Real Estate is one of the nation’s largest real estate investment advisers and operating companies.

Among its holdings are The Crescent, McKinney & Olive, and Crescent International Plaza III in Dallas.

LLR Partners takes a majority stake in Geoforce

Geoforce, the Dallas-headquartered provider of global traceability and Track and Trace solutions for field equipment and vehicles, has received a majority investment from LLR Partners, FinSMEs reports.

While no financial information on the deal was released, Geoforce plans to use the funding to continue innovating its field asset tracking solution for oil and gas and other industries.

Geoforce’s cloud-based software platform delivers a unified view of multiples types of assets from non-powered equipment to powered equipment and vehicles via satellite and cellular-based devices.

Cuban invests in Gecko Robotics’ $40M Series B round

Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark” Mark Cuban is one of seven investors in a $40 million Series B funding round for Gecko Robotics.

Pittsburgh-based Gecko develops and operates robots to perform infrastructure inspections by climbing in confined, often dangerous, places, according to Crunchbase. Gecko Robotics has raised $49 million over three funding rounds.

Last year, Cuban was one of five investors in a $7.1 million funding round for Gecko.

The Halifax Group recapitalizes Maverick Fitness Holdings

Private equity firm The Halifax Group, which has a major office in Dallas, has completed an investment to recapitalize Frisco-based Maverick Fitness Holdings LLC, which consists of more than 30 Orangetheory Fitness studios in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Halifax partnered with Maverick CEO Shane Adams and Maverick’s management team, which will remain intact after the transaction. The companies didn’t release any financial terms of the deal.

Maverick is one of the largest franchisees for Orangetheory Fitness with 31 studios and 23,000 members in North Texas, according to a statement. 

Crestline leads $10M PE round for Riversand

Crestline Investors Inc., a Fort Worth-based hedge fund sponsor, was the lead investor in a $10 million private equity round by Riversand, a Houston-based provider of multi-domain master data management and product information management solutions.

Founded in 1997, Crestline is an employee-owned hedge fund sponsor providing services to pooled investment vehicles, institutions, and high net-worth individuals. It invests in U.S. public equity, fixed income, and alternative investment markets.

Texas Ventures participates in Machfu’s $3.75M Series A round

Texas Ventures, a Dallas private equity and venture capital firm is one of four investors in a $3.75 million Series A funding round for Machfu, a Maryland company whose solution connects data at the edge—sensors, controllers, or equipment.

Other investors were Virginia-based Blu Venture Investors, and Texas Halo Fund and CSL Capital Management, both from Houston.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

NTT Data Services acquires IT provider to HHS agencies

Plano-based global technology services company NTT Data Services has agreed to buy NETE, a provider of digital design and transformation services for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies.

McLean, Virginia-based NETE works to drive global advancements in health and biomedical research through digital services, agile application development, clinical/bioinformatics, advanced data analytics, cloud, and cybersecurity, according to a statement.

With the NETE acquisition, NTT Data Services is receiving a company with more than two decades of experience.

NETE has established a strong reputation for delivering transformative digital services across key HHS agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The announcement follows NTT Data’s acquisition earlier this month of Flux7, an Austin-based IT services firm that has been on the Inc. 5000 list for three consecutive years. Flux7, an Amazon Web Services Premier Consulting Partner, provides cloud implementation and migration, automation, and DevOps consulting services for enterprises. 

MoneyGram and Brightwell partner to help cruise ship workers

Dallas-headquartered MoneyGram International Inc. announced it has entered into a partnership with Brightwell, an Atlanta-based FinTech company that helps global cruise ship workers get paid as well as send and spend money easily and safely around the world, according to a statement.

MoneyGram says it’s one of the world’s largest money transfer companies. The deal will enable crew members to digitally send their money home using MoneyGram within the Brightwell app. 

The companies plan to empower crews to support their families and friends in more than 200 countries and territories globally.

Austin tech firm A Cloud Guru acquires Fort Worth-based Linux Academy

Fort Worth IT training platform Linux Academy has been acquired by Austin tech firm A Cloud Guru.

The move will create one of the largest cloud-computing training programs spanning major cloud platforms, per the Austin American-Statesman.

Founded in 2012, Linux Academy offers a platform for learners of all ages, and specializes in courses for cloud computing, DevOps, containers, security, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Caregiver Inc. to acquire Nebraska-based Mosaic

Fort Worth-based intellectual and developmental disability provider Caregiver Inc. plans to buy all of Nebraska-based Mosaic’s operations in Texas, according to a statement.

The deal was facilitated by Vertess, a healthcare mergers and acquisitions advisory firm. Caregiver operates 800 properties in Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio and employs 3,900 people. Mosaic provides services in 10 other states.  

The acquisition is planned to transition 600 people in Mosaic’s network to Caregiver, which operates under the brands Daybreak, Southern Concepts, St. Giles Living Centers, and Unified Care Group in Texas, by Feb. 15.

Vertical Communications acquired by Chicago company

Chicago-headquartered NTI Connect has acquired Vertical Communications Inc., a Dallas-based provider of specialized in-house solutions to wireless, small cell, and fiber providers.

NTI is a broadband network engineering and deployment company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition strengthens NTI’s position as a provider of wireless and fiber solutions, by scaling operations in a new area of the country with enhanced capabilities in the wireless and fiber segments.

Strait Lane Capital sells Arise Virtual Solutions

Dallas-based Strait Lane Capital Partners has sold Florida-based Arise Virtual Solutions to Warburg Pincus and Vivtera, according to a statement.

Arise is a provider of business process services. No financial terms of the deal were released.

Strait Lane Capital Partners is a privately held investment firm focused on middle-market businesses.

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