Houston Deal Highlights
by Mason Rathe
What’s up Houston! Bringing you the mid-quarter deal activity review and 2nd installment of Houston Deal Highlights , covering activity in the tech and startup ecosystem in the Houston area, from fundraising, mergers and acquisitions, to other major company announcements and news.

So far this quarter, we’ve seen activity across the board, including Sunnova Energy raising $170M in the first US solar IPO in years. On the early stage front, we saw $65M in disclosed financings, with a large chunk from med device company Procryion . Other early stage activity includes the $9.9M Series A for Grab, $5.8M for Syzygy Plasmonics , and $5.25M for Fannin Innovation Studios . Although this trajectory is off the high water mark we hit in Q2, where we raked in $251M, this trend is on-par with a dip present in the rest of the US for early stage deals.

I’ll be back in your inbox to catch you up at the end of the quarter. In the meantime, if I missed anything or have any feedback, happy to hear, I won’t take it personally 😊

Lastly, before letting you get to the meat of the newsletter, here at LiveOak Venture Partners we are very bullish on Houston, and so a friendly reminder that we are actively looking at investing in early stage tech businesses in the Houston (and Texas in general) region. So please, if you know of anything that you think may be of interest, let me know. I come to Houston quite often, including September 12 for the HX Capital Summit 2019 , would be happy to grab coffee next time I’m out there.

Notable Financing Activity
  • Sunnova Energy, a Houston-based residential solar and energy storage service provider, raised $168M in its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol of NOVA. The company has a $853M market cap as of market close on Wednesday.
  • Procyrion, a Houston-based med device company developing a circulatory support pump, raised a $30M Series D round led by new investor Bluebird Ventures. Returning investors included Fannin Partners, Scientific Health Development, and the State of Texas. The company has raised more than $59M in total.
  • Grab Application, a Houston-based mobile application designed to help airport travelers to order food on the go, raised a $9.9M Series A from Collinson Group, according to Pitchbook. The company had previously raised $1M in angel funding.
  • Munich-based Inveox, a developer of a smart container for human tissue samples, just set up shop in the Texas Medical Center as a part of TMCx's ninth cohort, raised EUR 17 million of venture funding from undisclosed investors.
  • 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.
  • Fannin Innovation Studios, a life sciences development group that intends to commercialize innovation developed in the Texas Medical Center institutions, raised $5.25M from Robert Tucci, Houston Angel Network, and other undisclosed investors.
  • Spruce, a Houston-based provider of hotel-inspired services to the multifamily industry, closed a $3M funding round led by Fitz Gate Ventures with participation from Mercury Fund, Capital Factory and the Houston Angel Network. The company has raised approx. $8.5M to date.
  • iOFFICE, a Houston-based provider of cloud-based workplace management software to corporations, received an undisclosed amount of development capital from Waud Capital Partners.
  • Cemvita Factory, a CO2 utilization platform intended to produce nutrients and pharmaceuticals, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from Oxy Low Carbon Ventures.

Notable M&A Activity
  • Computex Technology Solutions, a provider of IT services including private cloud, public cloud and traditional infrastructure models in Central and Southeastern United States, reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Pensare Acquisition (NAS: WRLS), a special purpose acquisition company, for approximately $65M in cash, stock, and assumed debt
  • PCS Software, a Shenandoah-based transportation management software solution for the inland trucking industry, was acquired by The CapStreet Group for an undisclosed sum.
  • Prevalent, a provider of healthcare analytics and revenue cycle management consulting services, was acquired by iMedX, via its financial sponsor RFE Investment Partners, for an undisclosed amount.

Recent Houston News
  • Houston’s Silicon Bayou push picks up momentum with tech hub’s groundbreaking, iconic building takeover
  • 2019 Inc. 5000 list includes 119 Houston cos., including a record holder
  • Women take the lead in building Houston’s tech ecosystem
  • Amazon launches web services hub in Houston
  • Inc. magazine named Houston as one of the top hottest startup cities in America
  • TMCx announces its next medical device cohort with 5 startups hailing from Houston
  • Houston clocks in as No. 2 most overworked city in the nation
  • HBJ announces finalists for 2019 top women-owned businesses
  • New York-based artificial intelligence unicorn co. hires 71 for Houston office, aims to hire more
  • Retailers among 10 largest Houston companies at risk of delisting
  • Houston-based Data Gumbo, a blockchain-as-a-service start-up, announced that Antelope Water Management, an Austin-based provider of sustainable water solutions for the oil & gas industry, has adopted its technology. Data Gumbo raised its $6M Series A co-led by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Equinor Technology Ventures in May.
  • Gecko Robotics Inc., is expanding its Texas presence by adding new jobs and opening an office in Houston
  • Texas has become a testing ground for driverless semi-trucks further fueled by the new autonomous trucking route from Dallas to Houston operated by Kodiak Robotics. The CA-based company is focused long-haul trucking autonomous technologies and is opening an office in Dallas to better service this new route.
  • Ransomware Attackers Target 23 Texas Towns In One Day

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