Follow the Money: SmartBlock Starts $100M Fund, Learning Machine Closes $3M Round, MORSCO Bought for $1.4B

From blockchain to biotech and marijuana to real estate, here's a look at recent funding, mergers, and acquisitions involving companies and firms with North Texas ties.

funding

This article was updated on June 7, 2018 to change the amount of the Viziv funding round.

SMARTBLOCK RAISING $100M HEDGE FUND FOR CRYPTO, BLOCKCHAIN

Dallas-based investment firm SmartBlock Capital is raising a $100 million hedge fund to place investments in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the Dallas Business Journal reported, citing a filing with the federal government.

Blockchain is the underlying technology for bitcoin. The Business Journal reported that anesthesiologist Amir Baluch is involved in the firm. Baluch is well known in the the DFW investment community.

VIZIV TECHNOLOGIES RAISES $500K IN EQUITY OFFERING

Waxahachie-based Viziv Technologies filed a new Form D with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announcing it has raised $500,000 equity financing offer.

Viziv, formerly known as Texzon Technologies, is a pioneer in the field of electromagnetic wave propogation, power storage, and electricity distribution via wireless power systems. 

In April, Texzon announced that it had raised $720,000 of a $15 million offering, and in January, it announced that it had finished a VC funding round in December, raising $641,562. Since 2016, the company has raised more than $26 million in venture funding in four rounds, including a $12.52 million round in November 2017.

LEARNING MACHINE CLOSES $3M SEED ROUND

New York-based Learning Machine Technologies has closed a $3 million seed round that will help it expand its position as a provider of secure, recipient-owned, and independently verfiable digital records.

Learning Machine’s largest office is in Dallas. The company was spun out from the Dallas-based software company SlideRoom Technologies, which was sold last year. Learning Machine also has offices in New York, Seattle, and Valetta, Malta.

Chief Operating Officer Dan Hughes told Dallas Innovates the raise is “about building out the team to deliver at global scale.”

PTB Ventures led the round that included strategic investments from Omidyar Network and Lean Capital. Learning Machine makes software for organizations worldwide seeking to issue blockchain-based credentials at scale. Along with the MIT Media Lab, Learning Machine built the world’s only blockchain certificates open standard, Blockcerts.

PATENT REGISTRY FIRM IPWE SELLS $2.5M OF $10M EQUITY OFFERING

IPwe Inc., which has operations in Dallas, has sold $2.5 million of a $10 million equity offering, the company said in a filing with the federal government.

IPwe’s Global Patent Registry is the world’s first blockchain-enabled patent registry and the company said that it contains basic information on 80 percent of the world’s 20 million patents.This year, it will work with patent owners to encourage owner verification to make patent ownership clearer.

IPwe said that its technology will make patent transactions such as buying, selling, or licensing easier to conduct and will enable some types of the patent transactions that currently aren’t practical.

DALLAS INVESTMENT FIRM STARTS $50M FUND TARGETING POT INDUSTRY

Cresco Capital Partners, a Dallas-based investment firm that targets investments in the marijuana industry, is raising a second fund with a target of $50 million, the firm said in a filing with the SEC.

The Business Journal reported that Cresco already made a $3.7 million investment in FLRish, a California company that manages Harborside dispensaries and the largest pot-growing facilities in the state.

CARSON PRIVATE CAPITAL RAISES MORE THAN $51M

Carson Private Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm, has raised more than $51 million for a real estate fund sponsored by Landmark Partners, the DBJ reported.

The publication said that Carson Private Capital — founded by former energy executive Royal Carson III — has raised the second-largest real estate second fund to date worldwide at $3.3 billion. 

REALPAGE ISSUES $76M IN STOCK AS PART OF CLICKPAY ACQUISITION

RealPage, the Richardson real estate technology company, said in a filing with the SEC that it has issued the common stock necessary to pay for its acquisition of ClickPay, in April.

In the deal, RealPage said it would pay $76.3 million in shares of its common stock and $142.2 million in cash. ClickPay is a comprehensive electronic payment platform servicing 2.3 million units across the multifamily, HOA, condominium, and co-op segments of real estate, according to a release.

BIOS PARTNERS INVESTS $2.2M IN BIOTECH STARTUP

Fort Worth-based Bios Partners has invested $2.2 million in Connecticut-based biotech startup Azitra.

The startup is working on microbiome-based therapeutics to treat skin diseases using genetic, molecular, and microbiological techniques, according to Crunchbase.

KREW RAISES $25K IN SEED INVESTMENT ROUND

Dallas-based startup Krew announced that it has raised $25,000 in a seed investment round.

Krew’s app operates in the intercity travel industry by offering affordable long-distance car rides to consumers. 

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

REECE AUSTRALIA BUYS FORT WORTH-BASED MORSCO

Fort Worth-based MORSCO, a distributor of commercial and residential plumbing and HVAC equipment company, has been bought by Reece Australia for $1.44 billion in a deal with MORSCO’s owner, Advent International, the global private equity firm.

Advent invested in MORSCO in 2011.

Reece said that it plans to operate MORSCO separately from its businesses in Australia and New Zealand. The existing MORSCO management team will remain in place.

SWYCH ACQUIRES GIFT CARDS INDIA, EXPANDING ITS REACH

Swych, the Plano-based digital gifting company, announced that it had acquired Mumbai-based Gift Cards India (GCI Network Pvt. Ltd.).

GCI is well known in the gifting market representing more than 250 top brands in India. Swych, founded in 2015 by Deepak Jain, offers a scalable digital gift card platform that distributes digital gift cards internationally which can be instantly delivered and redeemed by the recipient at a local retailer.

In April, Swych announced that it had raised all $2 million offered in a debt investment round.

IN FOCUS BRANDS MERGES WITH BM5 CONSULTING & L MARTIN MANAGEMENT

New York-based In Focus Brands has completed its acquistion of Dallas-based BM5 Consulting and L Martin Management, a business management firm and private investment group.

Brent Martin, interim chief operating officer of In Focus Brands and a consultant for BM5 Consulting and L Martin Management, said the merger will allow In Focus to expand its resources for startups in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Martin told Dallas Innovates that the firm — which has launched 130 startups and more than 400 products and services — provides “unique solutions to the DFW entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

READ MORE

Funding and Exit Successes

Who are those companies that are finding funding or having a big exit? We’re tracking what’s happening in North Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth Innovation Guide. 
Browse our funding and exit successes →

Raise a Round

Texas is home to every stage of capital that a growing company may need. Angel investors, family offices, venture capital, and private equity firms are looking to find — and invest in — great companies. 
Explore funding opportunities →

David Kirkpatrick contributed to this report.

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day. 

Sign up here to get what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth.

One click, and you’re done.   
View previous emails.

 

Related Posts

Comments are closed.