Follow the Money: Intelis Capital Leads WNDYR Funding Round, Voltea Raises $10M

Funding rounds bring millions in capital from investors for North Texas startups. Here's a look at funding, mergers, and acquisitions involving companies and nonprofits with North Texas ties.

funding

Dallas-based venture capital firm Intelis Capital was lead investor in a funding round for WNDYR, a Dallas-based information technologies, professional services, and training startup with operations in North Texas.

WNDYR was founded in 2015 by CEO Claire Burge and Chief Operating Officer Tracey Foulkes. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

Burge told Dallas Innovates via email that the newly raised funds would support in the growth of the company’s product and development team in Dallas.

“Working with Intelis has been markedly different to any other investment conversation we have had to date. They truly are founder/business first in their thinking and in their doing.”

Claire Burge

“Working with Intelis has been markedly different to any other investment conversation we have had to date. They truly are founder/business first in their thinking and in their doing,” Burge said. 

She said that many investment firms say that they are that way, but then their actions show differently.

“From the very first meeting, it felt like a collaborative process where their fund vision matched our company vision, and we were able to achieve more together,” Burge said. “As previous operators, they bring needed insights into the next chapter of our growth. We have jointly set aggressive targets which I believe we will achieve together.”

Intelis Capital Partner Kevin Stevens called Burge a “rock star entrepreneur and innovator” and said the firm was excited about working with WNDYR.

“Claire and team’s clarity of vision, understanding of their customer, and relentless execution up until this point made this investment attractive on many levels,”  Stevens said. “However, what made it special was the nature of the feedback we received from their clients who described them with words like ‘best-in-class, curious, intensely passionate, and open-minded,’ all words that are associated with great company builders.”  

TRAXO COMPLETES $810K FUNDING ROUND

Dallas-based Traxo Inc. has raised another $85,225, completing its $810,735 funding round, according to an amended filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Earlier, we reported that Traxo had raised $725,510 in new equity funding. In 2016, Traxo raised a $5.2 million Series B funding round led by TripAdvisor. Traxo, which specializes in data aggregation and tracking passenger loyalty and behaviors, includes German airline Lufthansa and other travel companies as its clients. 

ROKA SPORTS RAISES $17.75M OF $21.32M OFFERING 

ROKA Sports

(PRNewsfoto/ROKA)

Dallas-based ROKA Sports Inc., which designs high-performance swimwear and biking suits for competitive athletes, has raised $17.75 million of a $21.32 million offering, according to a Form D filing with the federal government.

The company did not specify for what the funding would be used. The total leaves $3.57 million remaining in the offering.

ROKA Sports’ customers include olympians and triathletes, and the company introduced an eyewear collection in late 2016.

VOLTEA GETS $10M IN FUNDING ROUND

Voltea, a Netherlands-based global provider of electro-desalination water treatment technology with a U.S. headquarters in Farmers Branch, recently closed a $10 million funding round, with much of the new money going toward bolstering the North Texas facility.

“We are planning on a hiring several new employees in the Dallas area, both highly skilled engineers and product team members.”

Bryan Brister

Voltea, which is backed by Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of Unilever PLC, this week was named the “Breakthrough Water Technology of the Year,” by Global Water Intelligence at its Global Water Awards ceremony in Paris.

In addition to Unilever Ventures, funders include Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF), Rabobank, Anterra Capital, and the newest addition to this latest round was IDO Investments. 

“We are planning on a hiring several new employees in the Dallas area, both highly skilled engineers and product team members,” CEO Bryan Brister, who is based in Farmers Branch, said. “By winning this award shortly after closing a new funding raise and introducing a new product, we see a lot of momentum for 2018 and beyond.”

Voltea opened its facility in North Texas about 18 months ago and has roughly 30 local employees.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

NIKE ACQUIRES HEALTH WILDCATTERS GRADUATE INVERTEX

Dallas-based health-care seed fund accelerator Health Wildcatters has achieved the second exit in its five years of existence.

Invertex Ltd., which went through the program in 2014, has been acquired by Nike. Invertex uses computer vision to create 3D scans of feet, and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. No terms of the acquisition are being released.

“The acquisition of Invertex will deepen our bench of digital talent and further our capabilities in computer vision and artificial intelligence as we create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point,” Nike Chief Digital Officer Adam Sussman said in a release.

Health Wildcatters has 51 startups in its portfolio that have cumulatively raised more than $50 million.

“As our portfolio continues to grow and mature we expect exits to accelerate too,” Health Wildcatters CEO Hubert Zajicek said in a statement.

TYLER TECHNOLOGIES ACQUIRES SEATTLE-BASED SOCRATA INC.

Tyler Technologies Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Seattle-based Socrata Inc., in a deal that will have a major impact on technology services to the public sector.

“Our combined offering will enable public sector leaders to use data to improve program outcomes at the local, county, and statewide levels,” Tyler President Lynn Moore said in a release.

“Our combined offering will enable public sector leaders to use data to improve program outcomes at the local, county, and statewide levels.”

Lynn Moore

Tyler said that the terms of the deal would be disclosed once it closes on April 30.

The acquisition means that Tyler clients in all public sector verticals — justice, public safety, ERP/financial, and community development — will be able to make their data discoverable, usable, and actionable while possibly including data from other jurisdictions to enhance their analytics.

Socrata, a cloud-based data company, was founded in 2007 by CEO Kevin Merritt, and it brings with it a client list including Michigan State Budget Office, the Utah Department of Transportation, as well as general information offices for several states, including Texas, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, Tyler said in the release.

ACCENTURE BUYS DIGITAL AGENCY MEREDITH XCELERATED MARKETING

Accenture’s agreement to buy New York-based digital agency Meredith Xcelerated Marketing will expand Accenture Interactive’s studio locations in key U.S. markets including Dallas.

The Dublin, Ireland-based Accenture has North Texas offices in Irving, while Meredith has a location in Addison.

Meredith is a content-focused company in integrated marketing, cross-channel strategy development, and creative execution.

DALLAS LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND, ENVISION MERGE

Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind and Wichita, Kansas-based Envision have merged, uniting two agencies dedicated to providing employment opportunities for people with vision loss.

Operations at Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind will operate as normal, and the organization will retain its name.

“This merger fits perfectly into both our organization’s strategic goals to expand reach, serve more people who are blind or visually impaired and extend geographic footprints.”

Michael Monteferrante

“The Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind is a remarkable organization that has been empowering people who are blind or visually impaired to live independently since 1931. We’ve been doing the same thing at Envision since 1933,” Envision President and CEO Michael Monteferrante said in a release. “This merger fits perfectly into both our organization’s strategic goals to expand reach, serve more people who are blind or visually impaired, and extend geographic footprints.”

The merger will allow Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind to increase its scope of services and employment, as well as manufacturing, for the 150,000 people with vision loss it serves in 11 North Texas counties, Envision said. Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind has more than 240 employees at six Dallas-area locations.

BENEFITMALL ACQUIRES AGENCY IN NEW JERSEY

BenefitMall, the Dallas-based provider of employee benefits and payroll services, has acquired Slattery GA, a New Jersey benefits wholesale general agency.

BenefitMall said that Slattery GA has more than 50 years of knowledge and the acquisition will bring BenefitMall an office in Holmdel, New Jersey, in addition to an office in Whippany, New Jersey that will fold into the nearby BenefitMall office in Livingston, the company said.

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