Follow the Money: Video Game Studio Raises $46M for Web3 Play, Medical Device Maker Goes Public, Real Estate Investor Raises $1.8B, 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

Video Game Studio Lands $46M for Web3 Play

A local video game studio created by a Words With Friends co-founder is entering the Web3 space—with a game designed to be fun for players and spectators alike.

The Wildcard Alliance, a subsidiary of McKinney-based Playful Studios, has landed $46 million in Series A funding led by Paradigm to help further fuel the development of a game it says combines arena-style battle with a collectible card game.

The funding will help it continue to develop Wildcard. In the game, players enter a fantasy-world arena, battling it out with special attacks and creatures that can be used in a style similar to a Pokémon fight, according to VentureBeat. Something that sets the Wildcard apart from other multiplayer online battle arena games is that spectators in the virtual arena will be able to influence the outcome of battles by being able to throw down benefits to certain characters.


Photo: Jun/iStock

Fort Worth Biopharma Lands $16.5M to Fight Eye Disease

⟫ With fresh new funding, a Fort Worth-based biopharmaceutical firm aims to develop “breakthrough” treatments for an array of serious eye diseases.

Nacuity Pharmaceuticals, which focuses on ocular diseases caused by oxidative stress, announced landing a $16.5 million Series B funding round led by the Foundation Fighting Blindness to fuel clinical trials for two drugs in its pipeline.

Nacuity said the funding will help advance its NPI-001 and NPI-002 therapies “through proof of concept.” Currently in Phase I/II clinical trials, NPI-001 is a tablet used to treat retinitis pigmentosa associated with Usher syndrome—a condition that eventually breaks down the retina over time. Also in Phase I/II clinical trials, NPI-002 is an implant placed in the back of the eye that releases antioxidant molecules designed to slow the progression of cataracts.

[Illustration: Stock Depot/iStock]

Cybersecurity Startup Moves HQ With New Grant Funding

Aiden Technologies, a local cybersecurity startup, has been on a tear since officially launching its tech a little over a year ago. And now that growth will be taking place in new digs.

The autonomous endpoint security management services provider is packing up its headquarters in Plano and moving it further north to McKinney, aided by grant funding from the city’s Economic Development Corporation Innovation Fund.

While not disclosing specific amounts, Aiden said it plans to use some of the funding from the three-year MEDC grant to grow its team, in addition to supporting development and market expansion.

Photo: Lars Neumann/iStock

Medical Device Maker Goes Public

⟫ Southlake medical device company Heart Test Laboratories announced pricing of its $6.375 million initial public offering. The company’s shares began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker HSCS last Wednesday at $3.75 each. As of 4 p.m. CST that day, the price had fallen to $1.70 per share. Heart Test Laboratories said it’s planning to use the money from the IPO to fund clinical validation and FDA clearance for its HeartSciences’ MyoVista device, which uses AI to detect abnormal heart functions, in addition to using it for working capital and general corporate purposes. MyoVista is the first product for the company founded in 2008 to develop low-cost tools for the early detection of heart disease.

Old Parkland, home of Crow Holdings [Photo: Crow Holdings]

Real Estate Investment Giant Raises $1.8B for Tenth Fund

⟫ After filing to begin raising funds at the beginning of the year, Dallas-based real estate investment giant Crow Holdings Realty reported raising nearly $1.8 billion from 82 investors for its 10th fund. According to IPE Real Assets, the firm is targeting $3 billion for the fund—about $700 million more than it raised in its ninth fund, which it closed last September. Crow’s website states it has 21 offices across the country and around $24 billion in assets under its management.

Dallas VC raises $28.8M

⟫ Dallas tech-focused venture capital firm Goldcrest Capital reported raising nearly $28.9 million from 40 investors for a new fund titled GOLDCREST CAPITAL MARS SPV, LLC. Led by Daniel Friedland and Adam Ross, Goldcrest invests in areas like transportation, logistics, supply chain, and storage. In April, the firm joined a $15 million Series A funding round for San Francisco data platform Mozart Data.

Fort Worth Firm Raises $20M from Single Investor

Faraday Capital, a Fort Worth-based bond market-focused investment advisor, reported raising $20 million in pooled investment fund and limited partnership interests from a single investor for a new hedge fund titled Faraday Capital Managed Duration, L.P.

Faraday was launched in California in 2018 and moved its headquarters to Fort Worth in 2020, following a $10 million investment from local firm Satori Capital. As of last February, Faraday said it had more than $115 million in assets under its management.

Lucid Energy’s Red Hills complex in the Permian Basin [Photo: Lucid Energy]

Natural Gas Processor Acquired for $3.55B

⟫ Dallas natural gas processor Lucid Energy Group is getting acquired by Houston Fortune 500 Targa Resources Corp. in a $3.55 billion deal that will see the Bayou City midstream energy infrastructure firm expand its Permian Basin operations. Expected to close in Q3, the move will add 1,050 miles of pipeline and new processing power for Targa—one of the largest midstream firms in the country with more than 28,000 miles of natural gas pipeline, per The Dallas Morning News.

Plano Firm Acquires Digital Criminal Investigator

⟫ Following up on the two acquisitions it made last month, Plano-based LeadsOnline, a company helping law enforcement with online investigations, has scooped up Hawk Analytics, a Bartonville, TX-based firm connecting suspects to crimes using digital location data. LeadsOnline said the move will help expand geo-location mapping capabilities and call record data collection. The Hawk Analytics team will join LeadsOnline.

Photo: McIntosh

Highlander Acquires ‘Anchor’ for New Luxury Technology Platform

⟫ Through a newly formed holding company, Dallas-based private investment firm Highlander Partners has acquired McIntosh Group—the parent company of the amplifier brand that’s been used from presidential inaugurations to Woodstock—making it the “anchor” for a new “luxury technology platform.” Looking to stay active in the category, Highlander President and CEO Jeff Hull said the firm believes “there is a unique opportunity to acquire other consumer luxury technology brands.” McIntosh Group brands include Sonus Faber and Wadia Digital.

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