Follow the Money: Topgolf Preps for $4B IPO; Pieces Technologies Raises $25.7M Series B; ORIX Makes Acquisition

In this weekly roundup of funding, merger, and acquisition activity in North Texas, you’ll also find news from Eyevensys, BoodsKapper, Trinity Hunt Partners, Dragon City Farms, Harvest Returns, The Guild, DealerSocket, Riveron, Paceline Private Equity Partners, and Graco.

funding

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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Topgolf reportedly preparing $4B initial public offering

Dallas-based Topgolf International Inc. is working with Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Bank of America Corp. on an initial public offering that could value the company at roughly $4 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reported that the IPO could come as early as this year. Data compiled by Bloomberg shows that Topgolf has $525 million in outstanding debt.

Topgolf is a global sports and entertainment community said to connect almost 100 million fans via its experiences and innovation.

Its brands include Topgolf venues, Lounge by Topgolf, Toptracer, Toptracer Range, Topgolf Swing Suite, Topgolf Studios, Topgolf Live, and World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf.

Eyevensys nets $30M in series B funding

Biotech startup Eyevensys, whose U.S. operations are based in Fort Worth with headquarters in Paris, France, has raised $30 million in series B funding.

Eyevensys is a privately-held clinical-stage company developing non-viral gene therapies for retinal and other ophthalmic diseases.

Eyevensys

Patricia Zilliox

“We are thrilled to have completed this Series B funding round with the strong support from both existing and new investors for the company,” CEO Patricia Zilliox said in a statement. “This funding will assist the further development of our technology and position Eyevensys as an innovator in the field of ophthalmology.”

Eyevensys recently opened its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, with all U.S. operations being managed from there. The Eyevensys headquarters will remain in Paris, according to the company.

The round was led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and included participation from existing investors Pontifax, Bpifrance, CapDecisif, and Inserm Transfert, along with new investors, including the Global Health Sciences (GHS) Fund (Quark Venture LP and GF Securities) and Pureos Bioventures, according to a statement.

Pieces Technologies closes $25.7M Series B funding round

Dallas healthcare artificial intelligence and technology company Pieces Technologies has closed a $25.7 million Series B funding round led by healthcare investment firm Concord Health Partners.

funding

Ruben Amarasingham

Pieces Technologies connects health systems and the community to address clinical and social determinants of health.

Existing investors Children’s Health of Dallas and Illinois-based OSF Healthcare System also participated in the round, according to a statement.

The funding is expected to accelerate the national distribution of its clinical analytics engine Pieces Decision Sciences (DS) and its social determinants of health (SDoH) platform Pieces Iris.

“Pieces is focused on building stronger and smarter networks to address the clinical and social determinants of health across a range of conditions, from heart failure to chronic kidney disease,” Amarasingham, Pieces’ founder and CEO, said in a statement. 

Since 2016, Pieces been building integrated communities between health systems and community service providers. Its clients range from hospitals, health systems, and health plans to community health clinics and community service providers such as food banks, job assistance, and educational services, according to a statement.

In the span of less than three years, Pieces’ software has enabled up to a half-day reduction in hospital length-of-stay, sustained reduction in readmissions, and has been deployed at several notable health systems and communities across the U.S. 

Included among its clients are UVA Health System, Northwell Health, Children’s Health of Dallas, OSF Healthcare System, Baylor Scott and White Health, and Parkview Medical Center, among others.

Tech startup BoodsKapper gets seed funding

Coppell-based tech company BoodsKapper has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round, according to Crunchbase.

BoodsKapper, which recently collaborated with the DHA, Housing Solutions for North Texas, makes AI-based software streamlining the relationship between public housing authorities, landlords, and tenant families, which increases the opportunities for voucher holders to find a unit in the private market.

It piloted its software with the DHA last year and has since launched. DHA manages 17,000 housing choice vouchers. Often, voucher families are challenged with finding private market housing.

Now, BoodsKapper says it has 20,000 families and 6,000 property managers using its software.

Trinity Hunt Partners takes majority stake in Dataprise

Dallas-based Trinity Hunt Partners has made a majority investment in Dataprise, a Maryland-based IT managed services provider.

Dataprise manages the technology needs of more than 1,000 business customers throughout the U.S. No details on the investment were released.

The existing leadership team will continue to manage Dataprise, focusing on expanding its core IT service offerings and geographic reach.

Dragon City Farms completes funding round

Dallas hydroponic produce operation Dragon City Farms Inc. has completed a capital raise on Fort Worth-based Harvest Returns’ crowdfunding platform.

Dragon City Farms will use the funding to grow safe, superior quality, fresh produce to consumers across the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

“Dragon City Farms will concentrate on local restaurants that serve farm to table and prepare most if not all of their dishes, sauces, and sides in house from the produce they purchase,” Alex Davis, founder and CEO of Dragon City Farms, said in a statement. “These would be restaurants like Khao Noodle Shop, Knife, Wabi House, Seven G, and Rapscallion. We will also market to small specialty grocery stores like Jimmy’s Grocery in East Dallas. We will have our first crop of lettuce ready by the end of January and the farm should be fully operational by the end of March.”

Created in 2016, Harvest Returns is a FinTech company bringing agricultural producers together with investors. Its platform provides curated, diversified offerings of farms and agribusinesses to investors.

The Guild raises $25M for real estate tech and an expansion

Austin-based real estate tech startup The Guild has raised $25 million in Series B funding to expand its national footprint and further its tech offerings.

The Guild, a sort of cross between Airbnb and a corporate-stay hotel, has rooms available at three locations in Dallas.

The funding round brings the company’s total since 2016 to $32 million. Investors participating in the round included venture firms Maveron, Convivialite Ventures, and ATX Venture Partners as well as RXR Realty, Corigin, and Nivol Investment Group. The startup partners with developers of Class A apartment and office properties, and converts full floors into hotel suites. The company’s overnight stays range from $150 to $250.

It was founded three years ago by hotel developer Brian Carrico and tech entrepreneur Chris Herndon. Along with Dallas, it has a portfolio of 800 units in Austin, Cincinnati, Denver, Miami, and Nashville. 

The latest funding is expected to allow it to expand geographically and invest in its technology. The Guild has plans to launch in Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia and hopes to be in 12 markets by 2021.

OTHER FUNDING

Dallas-based private equity firm Energy Spectrum Capital has raised more than $962 million for its eighth fund, PE Hub reports, citing an SEC filing. The fund’s target is $1.3 billion. Energy Spectrum invests in the midstream sector of the oil and gas industry in North America.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

ORIX Corp. USA acquires Hunt Real Estate Capital 

Dallas-based ORIX Corp. USA has completed its acquisition of Hunt Real Estate Capital, creating one full-service, national commercial real estate lender.

funding

James Flynn

ORIX USA is the U.S. and Latin America business unit for Tokyo-based ORIX Corp. Hunt Real Estate Capital is headquartered in New York City. No terms of the transaction were disclosed.

ORIX plans to combine Hunt with its two ORIX brands, Lancaster Pollard, and RED Capital Group. Hunt Real Estate Capital president and CIO James Flynn has been named to lead the newly created company. 

The annual transaction production for Hunt Real Estate Capital and ORIX Real Estate Capital exceeded $9 billion in 2019 with a combined servicing portfolio of more than $40 billion, according to a statement. ORIX bought Lancaster Pollard last year and merged it into its RED Capital Group subsidiary.

DealerSocket to acquire dealer management system provider

DealerSocket, the Irving-based provider of automotive software solutions, has agreed to acquire Auto/Mate, a leading Dealer Management System software provider for automotive dealerships headquartered in Albany, New York. 

By bringing together Auto/Mate’s comprehensive DMS technology with DealerSocket’s suite of products, including customer relations management, digital retail and websites, inventory management, and independent-focused DMS software solutions, the combined company expects to offer dealers an all-in-one platform in which innovative software is combined with best-in-class service.

“Bringing together DealerSocket and Auto/Mate will be a game changer for our customers, our companies, and the entire industry. For a long time, DealerSocket has believed that combining our companies could offer dealers a much needed new choice for a full platform solution,” DealerSocket CEO Sejal Pietrzak said in a statement.

Upon close of the acquisition, the combined company will support more than 9,000 dealerships and more than 300,000 active users, according to a statement.

Riveron acquires Michigan consulting firm Conway MacKenzie

Dallas-based business consulting firm Riveron has acquired Michigan-based turnaround firm Conway MacKenzie Inc.

Terms of the deal were not released. Conway MacKenzie will continue to operate under its current name, according to Crain’s Detroit Business, and its restructuring unit will be led by Don MacKenzie, co-founder and CEO of the company.

According to the report, the acquisition will add roughly 130 employees to Riveron, bringing its total to nearly 600 employees across 13 offices in the U.S., Alex Benanti, managing director of sales for Riveron, told Crain’s.

Dallas private equity firm buys rail equipment lessor

Affiliates of Dallas-based private equity manager Paceline Equity Partners LLC have acquired Progress Rail Equipment Leasing Corp., a lessor of railroad maintenance-of-way (MOW) equipment and services.

The company was bought from Progress Rail, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. No terms of the deal were released.

Paceline focuses on value-oriented and special situations investments across real assets, corporate debt, and private equity in all market environments, according to a statement.

PRELC is headquartered outside of Detroit, Michigan with an office in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area. PRELC works to provide its customers with an expansive fleet of MOW equipment used to maintain vital railroad infrastructure.

Graco buys ‘fishing’ assets of Gravity Oilfield Services

Frisco-based Graco Fishing & Rental Tools Inc., which does business as Graco Oilfield Services, has acquired all fishing, rental tools, and related assets of Gravity Oilfield Services’ Fishing & Rental Division.

With the acquisition, all Gravity Fishing & Rental Tool employees will be joining the Graco family. The asset-base acquisition will substantially increase its offerings in the Permian Basin as well as add a new presence to the Southeastern U.S. via the Tuscaloosa Basin of Mississippi.

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