Follow the Money: Linear Labs Gets $4.5M; TIER REIT & Cousins Merger Creates $7B Company

You’ll also find news about Blue Racer Midstream, SureShot, SkyDefender, Allied Bioscience, Lantern Pharma, Akola Project, Mark Cuban, Siemens, KwikBoost, and Align Capital in this roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity involving investors and companies in 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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Linear Labs closes $4.5M seed round for revolutionary electric motor

Fort Worth-based Linear Labs has closed a $4.5 million seed round in support of its revolutionary next-gen electric motor created by father-and-son team Fred and Brad Hunstable.

The funding will be used to market the motor called the Hunstable Electric Turbine (HET) across the electric vehicle industry as well as the micro-mobility (scooters), robotics, wind turbine, and heating, ventilations, and air-conditioning industries, Linear said in a statement.

“This investment showcases the confidence these tech luminaries have in Linear Labs as we go to market with the first major innovation in electric motors in 120 years,” Linear Labs CEO Brad Hunstable said in a release. “Automotive manufacturers are already looking at HET technology as the solution to size, weight and range constraints. With 45 percent of worldwide electricity consumption passing through an electric motor, the number of industries this technology could impact are endless.”

The funding round was led by Science Inc. and Kindred Ventures with participation from investors Chris and Crystal Sacca, Ryan Graves of Saltwater Ventures, Dynamic Signal CEO Russell Fradin, Masergy Executive Chairman and ex-CEO Chris MacFarland, along with Ustream co-founder Dr. Gyula Feher.

The HET was invented by Brad Hunstable and his father, Fred, while they worked to design a device that could pump clean water and provide power for small communities in underdeveloped regions of the world. A score of discoveries in that endeavor evolved into a revolutionary new electric motor.

“The holy grail in electric motors has always been high torque and no gearbox, and the HET achieves both in a smaller, lighter, and more-efficient package that is more powerful than traditional motors,” Linear Labs CTO Fred Hunstable said in a statement.

Blue Racer gets $300M funding from First Reserve, SK Holdings

Dallas-based Blue Racer Midstream is getting a $300 million investment from Connecticut-based global private equity firm First Reserve and SK Holdings Co. Ltd., a top-two conglomerate in South Korea.

Blue Racer Midstream is a fully-integrated midstream company with operations in the Utica and Marcellus Shale plays.

SureShot gets corporate funding in recent round

McKinney-based MarTech solutions company SureShot Labs has completed a corporate funding round for an undisclosed amount from Scaleworks, a San Antonio-based venture equity firm.

According to a report in FinSMEs, the funding will be used to expand SureShot’s hiring efforts in McKinney, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. 

SureShot provides marketing technology solutions that allow users to optimize marketing operations and to enhance their experience via data. Scaleworks acquires B2B companies through its venture equity program and offers venture finance loans to fund growth, according to FinSMEs.

SkyDefender seeks $2M from investors for drone defense system

SkyDefender, a Dallas-based drone defense firm, wants to raise up to $2 million from investors, according to a filing. The Dallas Business Journal reports the company was started by ex-U.S. Army Capt. Steve Yen and former special operations and SWAT officer Christopher Kurinec. 

SkyDefender is marketing technology to the U.S. military, law enforcement, and private companies to help disable or capture threatening drones, the DBJ reports.

Allied Bioscience seeks $12.5M in funding round

Dallas biotech Allied Bioscience is raising up to $12.5 million to boost the marketing for its surface sterilization product.

We reported last year that Allied Bioscience was granted registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to a filing, the company has already raised nearly half of the amount it is seeking.

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

Dallas-based biotech Lantern Pharma seeks $6.2M

Lantern Pharma, a Dallas-based biotech firm, is raising up to $6.2 million, according to a filing. The firm, a graduate of Dallas’ Health Wildcatters, is developing new classes of precision cancer treatments, according to its website.

It’s backed by Dallas venture capital firm Green Park and Golf Ventures.

Jewelry maker Akola Project seeks to raise $2.5M in funding

Akola Project, the Dallas social retail startup, is raising up to $2.5 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Akola, a nonprofit jewelry company that trains and employs Ugandan and Dallas women to handcraft jewelry with fair and sustainable materials, was founded in 2006 by Brittany Merrill Underwood. 

The company raises money for social programs that provide living wages and financial training for women in need.

Other Funding

Dallas billionaire investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is one of three investors in a $1.9 million seed round for, a China-based internet HD TV box.

Other investors are Mark Pincus of San Francisco and Nat Turner of New York City, according to Crunchbase. 


TIER REIT merger with Cousin Properties creates $7.8B company

Dallas-based TIER REIT is merging with Atlanta-based Cousins Properties, creating a company that has a market capitalization of $7.8 billion.

The combined company will continued to be called Cousins, and it will have a portfolio of more than 21 million square feet of space in cities including Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Phoenix, and Tampa.

TIER CEO Scott Fordham will hold a seat on the board of the combined companies, which will be based in Atlanta.

“This transaction will be transformative for both companies,” Fordham said in a statement. “With an enhanced balance sheet, our shareholders will be able to benefit from further value creation in Austin, Dallas and Atlanta with Tier’s pipeline of over 5 million square of development and redevelopment opportunities.”

Siemens assigns acquired company to Plano-based software unit 

German conglomerate Siemens has signed an agreement to acquire the Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) end-of-line quality testing business of Saab Medav Technologies, which will join the Plano-based Siemens PLM Software business.

Saab Medav Technologies is a global provider of state-of-the-art signal processing, communications intelligence, and analysis for air, land, and naval applications, as well as NVH solutions for industrial quality testing.

Siemens said that the addition of Saab Medav allows Siemens to complement its Simcenter portfolio of testing solutions that is used in research and development.

The Siemens PLM Software business, a part of the Siemens Digital Factory Division. is a global provider of software solutions to drive the digital transformation of industry, creating new opportunities for manufacturers to realize innovation, the company said. It has more than 140,000 customers worldwide.

Luxor to acquire charging station maker KwikBoost

KwikBoost, the Dallas-based maker of charging stations for campus, healthcare, hospitality, and retail locations, is being acquired by Waukegan, Illinois-based Luxor.

The Illinois company offers an extensive line of workspace product solutions for a variety of industries. KwikBoost was founded in 2010 by Joe and Paul Mecca and serves more than 3,200 customers.

Align Capital portfolio company expands with 2 acquisitions

Align Capital Partners, with headquarters in Dallas and Cleveland, announced that its portfolio company, Pleatco LLC, has expanded into the air filtration market via the acquisitions of APEL Manufacturing and Milton Manufacturing.

Pleatco is a manufacturer of aftermarket cartridge filters for the pool and space industry.

According to a release, APEL designs and makes pleated filter cartridges, pleated bags, and other filtration products for mission-critical industrial air applications. Milton is a provider of high-quality spun bond, paper, felt, and pleated bag filters.

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