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Business Briefs

Dallas Cowboys Strike NFL’s First Cryptocurrency Partnership

Plus: Critical Start raises $215M to combat cyber threats and grow staff; Dallasite Thomas O. Hicks named to Texas Business Hall of Fame; and more.
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Jerry Jones and Blockchain Co-Founder and CEO Peter Smith. Richard Rodrigue/Getty Images for Blockchain.com

Blockchain.com, a cryptocurrency marketplace with 80 million customers and valued at $14 billion, has announced a partnership with the Dallas Cowboys. The deal is the first cryptocurrency partnership for an NFL team.

Through the partnership, Blockchain.com has been given exclusive rights to advertising spaces, including the club space inside AT&T Stadium, rights to social and digital integrations, highly visible signage within the stadium bowl, extensive TV, radio, and digital advertising, event opportunities with the Cowboys, and more.

“They are bringing Wall Street to Main Street by making digital assets available to anyone, anywhere in the world—and that’s a touchdown for our millions of global fans,” Dallas Cowboys owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones said. “We take pride in being the first team in the NFL to sign an official cryptocurrency partnership, and are proud to venture into this innovative business with Blockchain.com.”

Blockchain.com has transacted more than $1.2 trillion on its platform since its 2011 founding.

Plano-based Critical Start Raises $215 Million to Combat Cyber Threats, Grow Staff

This week, Plano-based cybersecurity company Critical Start received more than $215 million in capital from Vista Equity Partners. The funding will help enhance cyberthreat detection and increase headcount for Critical Start.

Rob Davis Critical Start headshot
Robert Davis, Critical Start

“The investment from Vista will help Critical Start further accelerate growth, continue to rapidly scale the breadth and depth of our managed detection and response offerings, and reach a wider range of customers who are investing heavily in cybersecurity, as the volatile threat landscape escalates across the globe,” Critical Start founder and CEO Rob Davis told D CEO.

The new raise brings Critical Start’s total funding to more than $255 million. It is the company’s raise since 2019, when it received $40 million from New York private equity firm Bregal Sagemount. Over the last three years, Critical Start has fostered more than 400 percent growth in annual recurring revenue. With the continued threat of cyber attacks, the industry will only continue to balloon. By year’s end, Critical Start hopes to have grown its headcount from 250 to approximately 340, Davis said.

D.R. Horton Acquires Vidler Water Resources for $291 Million

Arlington-based homebuilder D.R. Horton has acquired Nevada-based Vidler Water Resources, a water resource and storage business, for $15.75 per share in an all-cash transaction—a 19 percent premium to the 90-day volume-weighted average share price and a 39 percent premium to Vidler’s book value of equity. The total equity value of the deal is $291 million.

D.R. Horton, which built 81,622 homes in 2021, made the deal due to lack of water supply needed to build in various Southwestern markets. In those same markets Vidler owns a portfolio of premium water rights and other water-related assets—that now, through the acquisition, belong to D.R. Horton. After the deal closes, Vidler will operate as a separate operating division within D.R. Horton.

Dallas-based nVenue Strikes Partnership With Apple

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nVenue leadership, left to right: Christiana Yebra, Drew Williams, Bruce Sears, Kelly Pracht Bri Crow

Sports predictive analytics company nVenue, which is coming off a $3.5 million capital raise, has entered into an agreement with Apple to display its predictions on-screen during Apple TV+’s MLB streams this season. According to SportTechie, Apple initiated the interest in displaying predictions on screen, and MLB Network—which produces the broadcast for Apple—selected the Dallas-based company for the partnership.

nVenue debuted its predictive analytics last season while working with NBC in a sports tech accelerator program. Last season’s on-screen graphic included reach base, out, hit, walk, home run, strikeout, or run batted in predictions. Apple debuted its graphic just displaying reach base probability.

In a conversation with D CEO last month, CEO Kelly Pracht said nVenue is in talks with two more major media outlets to display its predictive analytics during MLB games this season. “There’s something beautiful about marrying sports with technology,” Pracht said.

Dallasite Thomas O. Hicks Named to Texas Business Hall of Fame

The Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation has announced the six inductees for its 40th Anniversary and Induction Dinner. This year’s list includes just one Dallasite: 76-year-old Thomas O. Hicks, the chairman, founder, and partner of Hicks Holdings. Other’s on this year’s list include:

  • John Arnold: founder of energy-focused family office investment fund Centaurus Capital
  • Ric Campo: CEO of Houston-based Camden Property Trust
  • Jeffery D. Hildebrand: executive chairman and founder of Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co., Harvest Midstream Co., and JDH Capital
  • Paul W. Hobby: founding partner of Houston-based Genesis Park and GP Capital
  • Whitney Wolfe Herd: Founder and CEO of Austin-based Bumble 

Hicks is most known for pioneering the “buy and build” investment strategy. He is also a former owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars—the latter of which won the Stanley Cup in his ownership tenure. In January 2018, Hicks was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as a commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Author

Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the assistant editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500

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