North Texas saw hundreds of exits in the last year, from IPOs to M&As. Southlake’s HeartSciences and Dallas’ Applied Blockchain both went public, while Dallas-based FB Flurry was bought by Cart.com. But the sweetest deal may have been McKinney-based Nature Nate’s—the nation’s largest honey brand—which sold to honey-packer Sweet Harvest Foods. Here are 17 notable deals.
Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
Dallas’ Deep Ellum Brewing Co. was acquired by the Monster Beverage Corp. as part of a larger $330 million deal that was called a “springboard” to enter the alcoholic beverage sector, a Monster executive said. The transaction with craft beer and hard seltzer company CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective LLC will add several brands to the company’s portfolio including Deep Ellum.
Dallas-based tech and direct-to-consumer fulfillment company FB Flurry was acquired by Cart.com, the company announced in January 2022. Dallas serial entrepreneur Jeff Zisk founded FB Flurry in 2018. According to Cart CEO and co-founder Omair Tariq, FB Flurry’s customer-focused, tech-forward approach “perfectly complements” the Austin e-commerce software and services provider. The deal reportedly tripled Cart.com’s fulfillment support center footprint to more than 2 million square feet, giving it next-day delivery access to most of the U.S.
Dallas-based coworking and flexible office space startup Common Desk was acquired by WeWork in March 2022 in a $22.9M deal, per Marketscreener. The deal was New York-based WeWork’s first acquisition as a public company—and the first for CEO Sandeep Mathrani, who took over for Adam Neumann. Common Desk, which had 23 locations in 13 cities at the time, now operates under the name “Common Desk, a WeWork Company.” Common Desk was founded by its current CEO, Nick Clark, in 2012.
You can call this one a sweet deal. McKinney-based Nature Nate’s Honey Co.—the nation’s largest honey brand—was sold to Sweet Harvest Foods—one of largest honey packers—in January 2022. Nature Nate’s founder Nathan Sheets, who named the honey company from his college nickname, becomes the largest minority shareholder and remains CEO. Both companies are majority owned by PE firm Blue Road Capital.
PlayersTV—the streaming division of Dallas sports-focused media and entertainment firm Players Media Group—landed a “seven-figure investment” from ReachTV in early 2022. PlayersTV will get access to over 2,500 airport screens and 1 million hotel rooms via ReachTV. Initial focus is on the U.S. footprint, serving as a “pilot program” for possible global expansion. The size of the stake wasn’t disclosed, but an announcement said the partnership is expected to generate $20M in annual revenue.
Plano-based Delivery Solutions was acquired by logistics giant UPS for an undisclosed amount. In May 2022, UPS said the deal will speed up deliveries for its customers and that Delivery Solutions would continue to operate independently under its current leadership. The SaaS delivery provider’s tech combined with UPS’ capabilities “will create new solutions to speed up growth for our customers by improving end-to-end online shopping experiences,” the shipping giant said.
Two Texas career-planning platforms backed by PSG—Frisco-based Nepris and Austin-based Virtual Job Shadow—merged to create a new platform in August 2022: Plano-based Pathful. The new company provides college and career readiness resources for educators and their students. No terms of the deal were disclosed.Nepris CEO and Co-Founder Sabari Raja is a board member and CSO of Pathful.
IBM announced the acquisition of Dallas-based Dialexa late last summer. It was IBM’s sixth acquisition in 2022—and the first by IBM Consulting in the digital product engineering services market. Digital Product Engineering is now viewed as a $700B market, said Dialexa CEO Scott Harper, who co-founded the company in 2010 with Mark Haidar. IBM and Dialexa’s shared vision for delivering industry-defining digital products “could be a game changer,” he said.
Bedford-based car payment tech platform Payix was acquired by Atlanta’s Repay Holdings in a deal worth up to $115 million. The deal, which was announced at the beginning of 2022 after closing in December 2021, included $95 million paid at closing with up to $20 million available via an earnout based on Payix’s 2022 performance. Payix’s technology and position in the automotive and buy-now-pay-later verticals are expected to bolster publicly held Repay’s bottom line. Payix could generate top-line and gross profit growth above 40% annually through 2023.
Boss Fight Entertainment
Streaming giant Netflix acquired Allen-based Boss Fight Entertainment—its third gaming acquisition—as part of its push into the ad-free gaming space. Boss Fight is the developer of the mobile fantasy role-playing game Dungeon Boss. Financial terms of the deal, announced in March 2022, were not disclosed.
Boss Fight was founded in 2013 by David Rippy, Scott Winsett, and Bill Jackson after the closure of social game developer Zynga.
In an all-Dallas deal, parking tech provider ParkHub bought payment processing integrator Fuzse in June 2022 for an undisclosed amount. The deal strengthens ParkHub as a “driver of customer insights,” it said. ParkHub was founded in 2010 by CEO George Baker Sr. to manage parking operations and payments. Fuzse was launched in 2016 by Lane Conner, who joined ParkHub as president of payments.
Frisco-based OpTic Gaming, one of the world’s largest esports and entertainment organizations, said it “fully acquired” Dallas-based streamer tool startup Botisimo in July 2022. Botisimo’s multiplatform chatbot tools reach more than 36 million unique viewers each month for 30,000+ streamers including Snoop Dogg, Monstercat, and Dude Perfect. No terms were disclosed, but the deal marked Botisimo’s exit less than two years after launch.
In July 2022, Forescout Technologies completed its acquisition of Irving-based Cysiv, an enterprise security operation center-as-a-service company originally incubated within Trend Micro. California-based Forescout, an automated cybersecurity company, plans to leverage Cysiv’s threat detection engine to analyze asset and network communications data automatically collected by Forescout’s platform. Data across IT, IoT, OT, and IoMT devices, as well as other data sources, enables better threat detection and response. Financial details were not disclosed.
Dallas-based cybersecurity firm Zimperium got a new owner in May 2022—a private equity firm run by former Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. The mobile security platform was acquired by Liberty Strategic Capital in a $525M deal. The investment represents a controlling interest in the 250-person company. SoftBank will remain a minority owner after investing $15M in Zimperium in 2017. “It’s clear that mobile is the new front line for cybersecurity,” said Mnuchin.
Beating other big-name contenders in a bidding fight last summer, CVS Health announced plans to acquire Dallas’ Signify Health in September 2022. The national pharmacy chain announced an agreement to buy the tech-enabled home health services company in a deal valued at about $8B. Signify Health, led by CEO Kyle Armbrester, has a large network of clinicians, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who use home-based visits to identify a patient’s clinical and social needs.
Southlake-based medical technology company Heart Test Laboratories, dba HeartSciences, began trading on the NASDAQ exchange in June with an $8.75 million raise. The company is developing improved ECG monitoring technologies and is headed by Chairman and CEO Andrew Simpson, who has been with the company since 2012. The company was founded in 2008 to develop low-cost tools for the early detection of heart disease. Shares began trading under the ticker HSCS. Heart Test Laboratories said it planned 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.
Dallas-based Applied Blockchain filed plans with the SEC to uplist to the NASDAQ Global Select Market aiming to raise up to $63 million. On April 13, 2022, it began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “APLD.” Applied said it would use the IPO proceeds to buy, lease, construct, or enter into energy service agreements at additional facilities. The company designs, builds, and operates data centers that provide power to blockchain infrastructure and support high-performance computing (HPC) applications. In November, the company changed its name from Applied Blockchain to Applied Digital Corp. “The new name reflects the company’s expansion into services that include “artificial intelligence, machine learning, non-real-time graphics rendering, natural language processing, and many more applications that require significant computing power,” the company said in a news release. In a statement, Applied Digital Chairman and CEO Wes Cummins said the new name is a “stronger and more accurate representation” of the company’s focus. “We will continue to provide solutions to our cryptocurrency mining customers, while also diversifying our customer base into more high-performance computing use cases for our next-generation datacenters,” he said.
A version of this story was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2023.
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