Follow the Money: Rent-A-Center Nabs $19M Investment, Playful Studios Receives $23M; ReadyRosie Acquired

In this weekly roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity involving companies in North Texas, you’ll also find news from ACIS, TPG, HM Capital, and Fleco Industries.


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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Rent-A-Center lands $19M investment aimed at retailing

Rent-A-Center, the Plano-based furniture and electronics rent-to-own company, has raised $19.16 million, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  

The Dallas Business Journal reports the equity round from 13 investors is targeted for retailing.

Rent-A-Center recently announced that its headquarters’ building in Plano’s Legacy area is for sale, and it recently acquired Merchants Preferred for $47.5 million that is expected to close in the third quarter.

Playful Studios raises $23M investment round

McKinney’s Playful Studios, maker of the Lucky’s Tale game series, has raised $23 million from a range of individual investors, which is a follow-up on a $25 million capital infusion in 2015.

READ NEXT: Q+A: How a McKinney Gaming Studio Takes a ‘Playful’ Approach to Funding

The cash is expected to take the gaming company beyond its recent virtual reality game focus to traditional platforms and also expand to make “games enabled for the spectator era,” according to VentureBeat. 

Streaming services like Twitch, have made viewers and their comments part of the gaming experience for players who choose to share their game play.

ACIS gets significant investment from Caltius

McKinney-based Air Conditioning Innovative Solutions (ACIS) has received a significant investment from California-based Caltius Equity Partners.

ACIS is a founder-owned provider of commercial HVAC and plumbing maintenance and repair services. It’s the first time that ACIS has partnered with an institutional investor, according to a release. 

No details of the deal were disclosed.

HM Capital invests in Chinese live-streaming platform

Dallas-based private equity firm HM Capital Partners has invested an undisclosed amount in, a China-based live-streaming platform that focuses on medical knowledge and news. 

It provides an interactive platform for online meetings, lectures, training, and communication for Chinese doctors, according to Crunchbase.

HM Capital Partners is a sector-focused private equity firm that mostly invests in the energy, food, and media industries. 


Maryland company acquires Denton-based ReadyRosie

ReadyRosie, the Denton-based early childhood edtech company, has been acquired by Maryland-based Teaching Strategies, a developer of early childhood curriculum and observational assessment used in early-ed programs across the state and nation.

“Teaching Strategies has been a leader in research-backed early childhood solutions for 40 years, and we’re extremely proud to join forces with ReadyRosie to help parents and educators extend children’s learning and development both in school and at home,” Teaching Strategies CEO John Olsen said in a statement. “ReadyRosie’s groundbreaking work to strengthen partnerships between families and educators is a powerful example of what can happen when technology is leveraged to support relationships—which are so fundamental to school readiness for young learners.”

ReadyRosie’s platform enables educators to securely communicate with families and share content based on the latest research in child development. It provides more than 1,000 “Modeled Moment” videos that can be sent via email, text, and mobile apps in English and Spanish. 

TPG Capital to acquire CollabNet VersionOne 

TPG Capital has agreed to acquire CollabNet VersionOne, a platform provider for Agile planning, DeveOps, and Value Stream Management (VSM), from Vector Capital.

TPG Capital is the private equity platform for global alternative asset firm TPG, which is headquartered in Fort Worth and San Francisco. No financial details of the deal were released.

The deal is the first step in a broader strategy in which TPG Capital will commit put to $500 million of equity capital toward building an integrated, enterprise-focused DevOps platform company, TPG said.

Chicago private equity firm acquires Fleco Industries

Carrollton-based Fleco Industries as been acquired by CORE Industrial Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm.

Fleco, a provider of lighting solutions, operates across the nation through multiple brands such as Saylite, Texas Fluorescents Reinvented, Mobern, Lights Fantastic, Lights Fantastic Pro, Lite, and LFP Lighting, according to a release.

Fleco will transition its overall corporate name to Saylite. CORE said it plans to pursue strategic acquisition with Saylite to extend its product and brand portfolio.

No financial details were released.

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