Follow the Money: Black in Tech Challenge Winners, Mark Cuban Invests in Tattoo Care Startup, the WNBA Gets New Backers, and More

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. Sign up for our e-newsletter, and share your deal news here

‘Black in Tech’ Challenge Winners

Last week’s Capital Factory and DivInc Black in Tech Challenge pitch competition had so many good pitches, it decided to name two winners.

The local winner of the challenge, which is aimed at increasing diversity in the tech community, was Safer Management, a public school and university attendance tracking startup.

Safer was founded by Fred Burns in 2020. His company, along with Indiana-based gig work platform Clutch, took home a $100,000 investment. 


Mark Cuban Invests in Tattoo Aftercare Startup

[Photo: davit85/istockphoto]

⟫ While not sporting any visible tattoos himself, Dallas serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban is continuing to invest in the care of the body art. The local billionaire joined a number of other high-profile investors on a $4 million funding round for Ohio-based tattoo aftercare product startup Mad Rabbit. Other investors on the raise include firms like Acronym Venture Capital and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and celebrities such as Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs and rappers Riff Raff and Yelawolf. The new funding brings Mad Rabbit’s total to around $7 million, and Cuban has had a hand in much of that. After forming in 2019, the company made its “Shark Tank” debut in 2021, landing a $500,000 investment from Cuban in exchange for a 12% stake in the company. He later followed that by joining the company’s $2 million seed round last July. With the new money, Mad Rabbit is looking to expand its product line and retail footprint.

WNBA Gets Local Backing

Dallas Wings WNBA players from the team website. [Photos: Dallas Wings]

⟫ The WNBA is looking to grow, and it’s attracting new funding to do so. Bill Cameron, owner of the Dallas Wings—Texas’ only WNBA team—joined Wings minority investor Brad Hilsabeck and others on a $75 million funding round for the professional women’s league. The move is aimed at attracting a larger audience and more teams to the WNBA. Texas entrepreneur Michael Dell, who owns part of the San Antonio Spurs, led the funding.

Now let’s kick it over to the M&A news…

Irving-Based Celanese Buys Majority Share of DuPont’s Mobility and Materials Business In $11B Deal 

At the Fourth Annual iC3 Life Science Summit at UT Arlington on Oct. 10, 2017 recipient Lyda Hill will present the award. To register for the summit, visit [Illustration: bestbrk/istockphoto]

[Illustration: bestbrk/istockphoto]

⟫ In what could shake out to be one of the biggest local deals of the year, Irving-based chemical and specialty materials company Celanese Corporation has scooped up a majority share of DuPont’s Mobility and Materials business for $11 billion in cash. In addition to gaining 5,000 employees, the move will bring DuPont’s polymers and resins for industries like electronics and consumer goods under Celanese’s brand. The company said the move is expected to generate about $450 million in “synergies.”

All-Texas Infusion Deal

⟫ In an all-Texas deal, Dallas’ RxToolKit, a provider of clinical and safety education tools, has been acquired by Austin infusion center software company WelInfuse. The deal will expand RxToolKit’s software and resources into WelInfuse’s more than 500 infusion and pharmacy customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Addison’s Accolite Digital Acquires Canadian Company

⟫ Addison digital transformation firm Accolite Digital, a New Mountain Capital-backed company, has acquired Xerris, a Canadian cloud and software development services company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Combined, the two companies said they will generate more than $100 million in revenue with more than 2,600 employees globally. Xerris, which said it saw an annualized growth rate of 300% over the last three years, will keep its headquarters in Calgary.

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