Austin Weekly Deal Highlights
by Mason Rathe
Seldom early in the day, but never absent, here are your Austin Weekly Deal Highlights . This week we saw data virtualization and performance platform Molecula raise a $6M seed round, Upland Software continue with their acquisition spree, and talks of Epicor being put up for sale at a deal that could be valued up to $5B. See ya next week

Austin Financing Activity
  • Molecula, a data virtualization company, closed a $6M seed round from investors The Seraph Group, Lontra Ventures, Velar Capital, Capital Factory, Andrew Busey, and Jason Dorsey. This investment adds to the $4.5M the company reported raising in May from Ben Lamm, co-founder of Hypergiant Industries, Tony Robins, Tom Meredith, and John Porter. The company also rebranded from Pilosa to Molecula in May 2019.
  • Yotta Solar, a scalable, modular solar energy storage solution, raised $1.5M seed funding from SWAN Impact Investment Group and various angel investors. In addition, Yotta Solar has also received $300K in grants for commercialization of its SolarLEAF product.
  • BrewBike, a startup that uses custom cargo bikes to conveniently provide coffee to college campuses, reported that it raised $1.5M in equity funding and moved its headquarters from Chicago to Austin. BrewBike is now available at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, Northwestern, and the University of Miami.
  • OrganiCare Nature’s Science LLC, an Austin-based manufacturer for homeopathic consumer products, raised $4.55M in equity funding from 25 investors.

Austin M&A Activity
  • Upland Software (NASDAQ: UPLD), an enterprise workplace management software provider, acquired Canadian telecom software company Cimpl for $23.1M cash and $2.6M cash holdback payable over the next year. The acquisition follows Upland Software’s recent financing agreement to further its M&A plans.
  • Dell-controlled VMWare (NYSE: VMW) announced plans to acquire California-based Pivotal Software (NYSE: PVTL) and Massachusetts-based security company Carbon Black (NASDAQ: CBLK) in deals valued at $2.7B and $2.1B, respectively. Dell is also a majority owner of Pivotal. VMWare has a $54.7B market cap.
  • KKR is exploring opportunities to sell Austin-based Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software. The deal could be valued up to $5B, which includes debt. Epicor was acquired by KKR in 2016 for $3.3B.

Other Relevant/Regional Deal Activity
  • Syzygy Plasmonics, a developer of the world’s highest performance photocatalyst, raised $5.8M Series A co-led by The Engine and by The GOOSE Society of Texas. Previous investor Evok Innovations was also a major participant in the round. Other participants include angel investors from the Creative Destruction Lab program and the Houston area.
  • Voyager, a Houston-based company enabling the bulk commodity shipping market to operate in a unified and digital environment, raised $1.5M in seed funding co-led by ATX Venture Partners, Blue Bear Capital, GreenHawk Capital, and Phaze Ventures.
  • Buchanan Technologies, a Grapevine-based provider of IT support and services, was acquired by private equity firm Lightview Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Dallas-based data center operator, CyrusOne, is contemplating a potential sale. The company recently received takeover interest from a bidder group that includes KKR & Co., Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, and I Squared Capital. Financial details of the offer have not been disclosed, and no decision has been made. CyrusOne could remain independent.
  • OGsys, a developer of cloud-based oil and gas accounting software, was acquired by Quorum Software, via its financial sponsor Thoma Bravo, for an undisclosed amount.
  • SQData, a provider of data replication solutions, was acquired by Syncsort, via its financial sponsors Centerbridge Partners and Clearlake Capital Group, for an undisclosed amount.

Austin People
  • Claire England announced that she is stepping down as the Executive Director of Central Texas Angel Network to pursue other opportunities. England joined CTAN in 2014, and she is the longest-tenured leader of CTAN since its founding in 2006. The search process for a replacement is expected to span a few months.
  • Reed Taussig joined the board of directors for ClearDATA, an Austin-based cloud healthcare company. Taussig previously served as president and CEO of ThreatMetrix. The company has raised approx. $81M to date.

Austin News
  • TFF Pharmaceuticals, a developer of inhalation products for the treatment of chronic respiratory diseases, filed for a $22M IPO. The company raised an $8M Series A in June.
  • 2020 10 Best Tech Startups in Austin. Proud to see 2 LiveOak portfolio companies make the list, DISCO and OJO Labs
  • Drillinginfo, an Austin-based software company, has rebranded to Enverus as the company extends into other parts of the energy sector beyond oil and gas data analytics. DrillingInfo was acquired by Genstar Capital in July 2018.
  • Austin continues to be one of the fastest growing US cities. We rank second for population growth and sixth for employment growth.
  • Texas towns suffered from a coordinated ransomware attack.
  • Cannabis startup Leafly opens an office in Austin and hires 30 people laid off from Spreetail.
  • These 5 Tech Companies Are Austin’s Fastest Growing, According to Inc
  • Austin Community College secured $1.5M in new funding in a grant from the U.S. Labor Department. The funds will be used to expand its IT apprenticeships.
  • ScaleFactor, an Austin-based enterprise financial tracking platform, has leased 53,000 square feet in East Austin for its new headquarters. This expansion is following the company’s recent $60M Series C funding round.
  • Austin-based Serenova, a cloud-based contact center management software developer, opened a new office in Salt Lake City to optimize regional operations.
  • Austin Chamber of Commerce honors annual business award winners.
  • Austin Mosaic Awards acknowledge companies and individuals for diversity and inclusion initiatives. Click here for the 2019 Austin Mosaic Award winners.
  • If you are in the Austin tech community, consider joining Brett Hurt, CEO of data.world and 80 others and take Beyond Diversity/Courageous Conversation. WPEngine CEO Heather Brunner has this to say about it: "I cannot more highly recommend this incredible program. If you truly care about being an active leader and advocate for the equal treatment of all people, I would strongly encourage you to invest in this experience!” More Information
  • September 4th is the launch party for Amos Schwartzfarb’s book Sell More Faster. Amos is the Managing Director of Techstars Austin

Thank you!
Mason Rathe

If a missed a deal, major announcement, etc., shoot me an email and happy to include in the next one.

LiveOak Venture Partners is an early stage venture capital firm investing in Texas-based companies. Think you company might be a fit, shoot me an email at mason@liveoakvp.com