Austin Weekly Deal Highlights

September 19th, 2021

Since email marketing company Mailchimp sold this week for $12B, I wonder what this newsletter email “company” is worth… Come on yall, this is quality stuff, I have 13k+ hyper regional subscribers, above average open rates, recurring revenue, … I’ll humbly start the bidding at 0.1% of Mailchimp’s sale price ;). I’ll throw in a year of writing intro’s, or transfer all creative liberties, whichever is worth more to ya.

So enough of that, what is happening in Texas?? In a a classic David and Goliath story, we now see the manifestation of what it means disrupt the incumbent, where a ground-breaking company reaches distribution faster than a market leader can innovate. We have Katy-based Igloo, founded in 1947, and dominating the ice chest market for decades but slow to innovate, selling this week for $677M after a tumultuous few years. On the other hand, we have home grown, Austin-based Yeti, founded 60 years later, eclipsing a $100 share price this quarter, and reaching a monumental $8.75B market cap. The two own comparable share of the camping cooler market (~20%), but it’s clear who investors are more bullish on.


Thank you to this week’s sponsor, S3 Ventures!

Acquisitions & IPOs: What to Expect & How to Prepare — Join us for this webinar on October 5 to learn from Bryan Hill, current CFO of Alkami and former CFO of Real Page, who has executed 40+ acquisitions and two IPOs, including Alkami this past April. Alice Takhtajan from J.P. Morgan will review the latest capital markets data, and S3 Ventures’ Brian Smith, who has taken companies public as both a Founder/CEO and a VC, will host the discussion. Register now


Austin Financing Activity

  • Self Financial, a platform that helps consumers establish and build credit history, raised a $50M Series E. Altos Ventures led, and was joined by insiders Meritech Capital and Conductive Ventures. The company has more than doubled its number of employees in the past year from 80 to 200.

  • Colossal, a genetics startup focused on bringing back the extinct woolly mammoth, raised a $15M seed round. Billionaire Thomas Tull, best known for founding a film production company that backed the “Batman” movies and “Inception,” and venture capital firms Breyer Capital and Draper Associates are among the backers.

  • Sellers Shield, software services intended to protect real estate brokers, agents and home sellers from lawsuits, raised a $15M Series A round led by Elsewhere Partners.

  • Kerv, an interactive video platform,  raised $11M of venture funding from undisclosed investors. The company has raised approx. $26M to date.

  • Swoovy, a dating while volunteering app, announced the completion of a $1.2M seed funding round, with investors including Third Rail Creative and Coder.

  • Non-profit Founders Fund CDC has a new grant program awarding $100K to minority and underrepresented entrepreneurs around Texas.

Austin M&A Activity

  • WIN-911, is a leading industrial monitoring, alerting and notification software, announced the completion of the majority recapitalization by The CapStreet Group, in partnership with the majority owner, Robert Brooker, shareholders and management.

  • 360Science, a data quality platform, was acquired by Syniti, via its financial sponsor Bridge Growth Partners

  • Phunware, Inc., a mobile enterprise cloud platform, has acquired Lyte Technology for $10.3M in cash and stock, with Lyte planning on moving to Austin within the year.

Other Texas Deal Activity

  • Dometic (Swiss: DOM), agreed to buy Igloo, a Katy, Texas-based cooler maker, for $677M. Sellers include ACON Investments, Hauser PrivateEquity and JZ Capital Partners.

  • ShaveLogic, a Dallas-based skincare and men’s grooming brand, raised $100M in growth capital from Jefferies.

  • Othram, a Houston-based criminal justice forensics provider, raised an $18M Series B led by Gigafund.

  • CollateralEdge, a debt capital delivery fintech platform and led by former Perot Jain partner Joe Beard, raised $3.5M of seed funding from Perot Jain, Joshua Baer and Kneeland Youngblood.

  • HCSS, a Sugar Land-basd supplier of estimating, operations, and fleet management software, to be acquired by Thoma Bravo for an undisclosed amount.

  • Petmate, an Arlington-based pet food manufacturer, was acquired by Platinum Equity, for an undisclosed amount.

  • Ampersand Professionals, a Bellaire-based internship recruiting and training platform, raised $1.75M of pre-seed funding in a deal led by Curate Capital.

  • OpenRoad Lending, a Fort Worth, TX-based direct-to-consumer auto finance company, received an undisclosed investment from Clarion Capital Partners.

  • DiCentral, a Houston-based global B2B and API solutions provide, was acquired by TrueCommerce, a Pittsburgh, PA-based global cloud provider of supply chain and trading partner connectivity, integration, and omnichannel solutions. Terms were not disclosed.

  • Recuro Health, fresh off a $15M Series A round, announced an acquisition of Dallas’ MyLifeIQ, a precision medicine company focused on epigenetics.

  • Alkami Technology, a fintech firm based in Plano, has acquiredMK Decisioning Systems for $20M, contingent on milestones over the next two years.

  • Tipalti, an accounts payable software startup recently designated with unicorn status, has announced an office planned for Plano.

Austin People

  • Point Health, a digital health cost comparison company, hiredJohn Kass as executive VP of market development and strategy.

  • Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation, a medical cannabis startup, has hiredMike Thompson as director of strategic partnerships. Per Crunchbase, Texas Original has raised $23M over two rounds.

  • Billy Duffy joined Austin, Texas-based PE firm Acacia Partnersas a principal. He previously was with KPMG Corporate Finance. 

Austin News

  • Santé Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare and life sciences, announced a fourth fund of $260M.

  • Tritium Partners, a private equity fund specializing in buyouts of growth companies in the lower middle market, filed to raise their third fund with a target of $650M. Previous funds totaled $465M and $309M in 2019 and 2015, respectively.

  • BigCommerce, a SaaS company for e-commerce sites, announced filings that can net the company up to about $335M, through convertible senior notes and purchases of principal amount notes.

  • Ford and Walmart have plans to test out automated delivery services around Austin, using technology by Argo AI.

  • Applications for Techstars Austin close in less than a month on October 6th!

  • Travis County will inject $110M into Austin's homelessness, affordable housing crises

  • UT Austin ranks among top universities in the country — here's what talents shine bright

  • Moveworks, an AI platform company meant for employee support, has officially relocated to Austin and plans to increase hiring around the area. The company has recently raised a $200M Series C round at a $2.1B valuation, per Crunchbase.

  • PeopleFund, a small business loan provider, has launched an accelerator focused on BIPOC-owned businesses that have a minimum of six months of operating revenue. 

Thank you!

Mason Rathe

Additional research and newsletter support provided by Nirjhar Mundkur