Follow the Money: Naya Raising $2.5M to Back Viviota; Tenet Plans Conifer Spin-Off; Compass Datacenters Makes Acquisition

You'll also find news about Spectral MD, Thomson Reuters, Presidio Petroleum, Media Distribution Systems, Intelledox, and UWorld in this roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity by companies in North Texas.

naya fund

What companies are finding funding or having a big exit? From startup investments to grants to 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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Naya Ventures Backs Viviota with $2.5M SPV III Fund

Irving-based early stage venture capital firm Naya Ventures has raised $500,000 of the $2.5 million Naya Management SPV III fund aimed at backing its investment this month in the data tech company Viviota Inc.

Naya Ventures invested in Austin area-based Viviota, a provider of  engineering data software accelerating analysis and innovation for vehicle and device manufacturers, after connecting with the startup through Capital Factory, said Manu Sharma, senior associate at Naya Ventures. The funding was for an oversubscribed Series A round to support the growing demand for Viviota’s software, Time-to-Insight, which fully automates complex sensor data management tasks.

“This investment in Viviota will benefit this market and can be applied to other manufacturing sectors demanding faster innovation,” said Dayakar Puskoor, General Partner, Naya Ventures. “Our investment in Viviota was led by our strategy to add value to companies that solve critical pain points for customers, and we believe that our enterprise network and access can help Viviota scale quickly.”

Sharma told Dallas Innovates that the investment in Viviota is part of Naya’s strategy to move to backing startups that are producing revenue. Previously, Naya has been backing companies in pre-seed status. He said that Naya has invested in 17 of those type startups—providing its expertise to make the startups successful. It’s had one company exit—Altia Systems, for $125 million.

“What we learned was pre-revenue is hard because of the time you spend,” Sharma said. “Being in the trenches with 17 companies is exhausting bandwidth.”

Sharma said Naya Ventues wants, “to look for companies that are solving real problems in the enterprise.”

Enter Viviota into Naya’s plans. Its platform can take auto and manufacturing industry data that once took weeks to analyze and reduce that analysis to a matter of minutes, Sharma said.

“Viviota from a product standpoint is solving a real problem,” Sharma told Dallas Innovates. “For us, it was kind of a no-brainer.”

In March, Naya Ventures was one of the lead investors in a $3.9 million Series A funding round for Richardson-based artificial intelligence startup Amplifi.

Tenet Healthcare plans to spin off its Conifer unit

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare announced it plans to spin off its Conifer health payments unit into an independent publicly traded company.

The spin-off is expected by the end of the second quarter of 2021, Tenet said in a release.

Conifer helps hospitals and doctors bill their patients and insurers. It manages more than 17 million patient interactions a year.

“This decision supports our longstanding objectives to maximize the value of Conifer, build on its strong growth potential and deliver the best outcome for Conifer and for Tenet shareholders,” Tenet CEO Ronald A. Rittenmeyer said in a statement.

Spectral MD gets $27M for trial of AI-powered wound, burn care system

Dallas-based biotech startup Spectral MD has secured $27 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for an expanded proof-of-concept clinical trial of its AI-powered system targeting burn care assessment in pediatric populations.

The system could benefit in the everyday treatment of burns and could be a tool in the treatment of mass burn casualties such as would occur in a nuclear attack. It’s the second infusion of funding from BARDA to Spectral MD, and it will go to additional development of Spectral’s DeepView for advanced burn and would care management.

BARDA said it will provide the new funding over 22 months with options for additional funding up to $92 million.

“We received $26 million of support from BARDA from 2013 to 2018 and proved our initial product plan with successful studies,” Wensheng Fan, EVP and CTO of Spectral MD, said via email.  “This funding announced today will further accelerate the development of the DeepView system. We are focused on burns and pediatric applications, but are also working on other everyday wound-types including amputations, critical limb ischemia, and diabetic foot ulcers.”

Read more about the project here.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Compass Datacenters makes acquisition in Canada

Dallas-based Compass Datacenters LLC has completed its acquisition of ROOT Data Center, a wholesale data center provider in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

No financial terms were released.

This acquisition is Compass’ first since it announce plans to develop up to $3 billion in new data center campuses, according to a release. The plan included follow-on investments from exiting investors New York-based RedBrid Capital Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, along with new investment partner Azrieli Group Ltd. of Israel. 

The deal adds “significant” scale to the Compass platform, the release said, and is complementary to Compass’ core strategy of serving high-growth hyper scale and cloud customers via dedicated facilities.

Compass, which has built more than $3 billion of data halls around the world, said on it website that its patented customizable design and the use of agile construction methodology enables it to deliver a data center where a customer wants it in six months less time from pad to the site being ready.

Thomson Reuters acquires Confirmation to enhance cloud audit capabilities

Thomson Reuters has closed its acquisition of Confirmation, which will be fully complete once it has received regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Tennessee-based Confirmation will become part of Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting hub based in Carrollton. Thomson Reuters announced in June that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Confirmation. No financial terms of the deal were released.

Confirmation believes that “financial data should be easy to find,” which is why the company “invented electronic confirmation technology nearly 20 years ago,” according to a statement.

The addition of Confirmation is expected to help Thomson Reuters enhance its Cloud Audit Suite, according to Charlotte Rushton, president of the Tax & Accounting Professionals business of Thomson Reuters, who calls it “the most comprehensive cloud solution on the market.”

Read more about the deal here.

Presidio Petroleum acquires Apache Corp.’s Anadarko Basin properties

Fort Worth-based Presidio Petroleum has acquired all the oil and natural gas producing properties in the Western Anadarko Basin of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas from Apache Corp and its affiliates.

Presidio, a portfolio company majority owned by Morgan Stanley Energy Parteners, is an oil and gas efficiency company that acquires, operates, and optimizes oil and gas properties in the Anadarko Bain. No financial details were released about the deal.

This is Presidio’s first add-on acquisition since Morgan Stanley Energy Partners’ initial investment back in May 2018.

Media Distribution Solutions gets acquired by Florida company

Media Distribution Solutions, a Plano-based provider of low-cost, on-demand video creation solutions, has been acquired by Spectrio, a Florida-headquartered provider of in-store marketing solutions.

No financial terms were released.

According to FinSMEs, Spectrio intends to integrate the Media Distribution Solutions platform into its own proprietary platform to increase its capability to provide content at scale across avenues both online and on-site.

Smart Communications buys Dallas-based Intelledox

Intelledox, a Dallas-based digital transformation company, has been acquired by Smart Communications, a New York- and London-based cloud platform for enterprise customer communications.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t released.

Intelledox provides a cloud platform that connects to any system of record and provides next-generation forms, built-in workflow, and on-demand customer communications.

UWorld acquires Roger CPA Review

UWorld, a Dallas-based high-stakes exam preparation company, has acquired Roger CPA Review, a provider of learning tools for accountants to prepare for their CPA exam.

No financial details of the acquisition were released.

UWorld will be able to continue its grow path across industries after the acquisition. The company was founded in 2003 by CEO Chandra S. Pemmasani, M.D., and it is an online learning leader in preparing for high-stakes exams such as the ACT, SAT, MCAT, and others.


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