2022 was a big year for the North Texas business community, filled with mergers and acquisitions, raising funding, striking partnerships, launching products, and more. Throughout the past year, there has been a bevy of eye-popping moves that turned heads in North Texas and picked up national headlines, as a result. Let’s take a look back at some of the most notable business moves made in North Texas in 2022, highlighted in Business Briefs.
- North Texas’ Deep Ellum Brewing Company was acquired by Monster Beverage in a $330 million deal. The acquisition for Monster Beverage—which produces the Monster Energy drink—was the largest in the company’s history.
- New York-based coworking giant WeWork acquired North Texas-based coworking leader Common Desk. The acquisition was WeWork’s first as a public entity under new CEO Sandeep Mathrani. The deal added to the company’s portfolio of more than 700 flex office locations. D CEO spoke with Common Desk CEO Nick Clark about the move.
- Dallas-based tax company Ryan acquired the nation’s second-largest property tax consulting firm, Marvin F. Poer Co.—Ryan’s largest competitor. Ryan onboarded Poer’s 186 employees in 12 locations. Poer Chairman and CEO David Poer called the deal “an easy decision.”
- North Texas-based RumbleOn, an online e-commerce site that allows customers to buy, sell, trade, and finance powersport products—such as all-terrain vehicles, motorbikes, and dirtbikes—acquired Freedom Powersports, an on-and off-road power vehicle dealer, for $130 million. Freedom represents 15 powersports manufacturers through 13 retail locations in Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. The deal expanded RumbleOn’s national presence to more than 55 locations.
- Colossal Biosciences, the company attempting to bring woolly mammoths out of extinction via genetic engineering, raised $60 million in new funding. The financing was led by Thomas Tull and At One Ventures with participation from numerous other companies and investors including Paris Hilton. At the time, Colossal’s total capital raised was $75 million.
- Dallas-based tech startup Island launched in February with nearly $100 million in funding. In March, the unicorn company, which provides a browser plug-in that protects company data, garnered an additional capital infusion of more than $200 million resulting in a $1.3 billion valuation. Later in November, Island announced an additional $60 million in funding.
- Washington D.C.-based private equity firm Liberty Strategic Capital, led by former Secretary of the Treasury under the Trump Administration Steven T. Mnuchin, acquired Dallas-based cybersecurity firm Zimperium for $525 million. Zimperium, which houses more than 250 employees and serves more than 7,000 customers, including J.P. Morgan Chase and the U.S. Department of Defense, reported 53 percent year over year growth in 2021. Zimperium was Liberty’s fourth cybersecurity purchase and its first buyout transaction.
- Blockchain.com, a cryptocurrency marketplace with 80 million customers and valued at $14 billion, announced a partnership with the Dallas Cowboys. The deal was the first cryptocurrency partnership for an NFL team. “They are bringing Wall Street to Main Street by making digital assets available to anyone,” Jerry Jones said.
- Plano-based cybersecurity company Critical Start received more than $215 million in capital from Vista Equity Partners. The funding is helping enhance cyberthreat detection and increase headcount for Critical Start. The April raise brought Critical Start’s total funding to more than $255 million.
- Dallas-based fintech startup Backflip is attempting to solve America’s housing shortage by making it easier for real estate investors to flip older homes. The startup has created an app that allows users to source and analyze a potential home to flip, finance it, and learn more about the entire process along the way. In May it received an $8 million equity seed round and $27 million of dedicated debt funding.
- Former Dallas Cowboy safety and real estate exec Darren Woodson launched Dallas-based CounterFind’s counterfeit NFT (non-fungible token) solution—a technology that identifies and removes fake NFTs, allowing NFT creators with trademarks, copyrights, or right of publicity rights to control their brands without concern their work will be replicated. In May, CounterFind had already removed more than 500 counterfeit NFTs valued at more than $400 million.
- Anurag Jain joined a $44 million funding round with Ross Perot Jr., Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and others to bring Major League Cricket to the United States. As a result, Grand Prairie’s Airhog’s baseball stadium is being renovated into a cricket pitch and is expected to be ready in March 2023. Jain also plans to set up more than 200 Major Cricket League academies across America—Texas cities include Houston, Austin, and Dallas—where school-aged children can learn the game.
- In June, the revamped XFL, the spring professional football league with a February 2023 kickoff, struck a partnership with Dallas-based Connect Partnership Group to broker and negotiate its corporate partnership packages. Connect Partnership Group, the next week, acquired HARLON, a Chicago-based sports, entertainment, and music firm.
- Germany-based Flix SE, which purchased Greyhound Lines in 2021, launched Flix North America to oversee operations for both Greyhound and FlixBus across North America. The new entity’s U.S. headquarters were placed in Dallas. Kadir “Kai” Boysan—the former CEO of Kâmil Koç Buses, also acquired by Flix—relocated to Dallas from Turkey to assume the CEO role of Flix North America, with longtime Greyhound CEO Dave Leach retiring. Flix purchased Greyhound in October 2021 on a debt-free/cash-free basis of $46 million.
- Dallas startup Nada, which aims to make real estate investments more accessible, closed an $8.1 million seed round. LiveOak Venture Partners led Nada’s round with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Capital Factory, 7BC Venture Capital, Sweater Ventures, LFG Ventures, Badra Capital, and Stonks Fund. One goal for the round was to scale the company’s user count—approximately 4,000 at the time of raise—by 500 percent over the next year.
- The Salesmanship Club of Dallas reported in August that the 54-year-old AT&T Byron Nelson PGA tournament raised $7.6 million in 2022 for the Momentous Institute—a new fundraising record. The tournament sold out for the first time since 2008 and launched a new fundraising campaign for Mental Health Awareness month in May, Birdies for Mental Health, which raised $200,000 from patrons and PGA Tour players who contributed more than $20,000.
- The Star in Frisco landed a new tenant: Comerica Bank’s new Class A+ Business and Innovation Hub tower, which will house approximately 300 Comerica employees. Construction on the project began in September, and Comerica—which reported $86.9 billion in assets this June—plans to open the hub in Q4 of 2023 or Q1 of 2024.
- Dallas-based Dialexa agreed to be acquired by global company IBM. The Dallas company, led by co-founder Scott Harper, helps companies align operations with tech and the digital transformation. The acquisition was made by IBM Consulting, the arm of the Fortune 500 company that provides professional services and consulting in supply chain, finance, procurement, customer experience, and talent.
- Dallas-based micro-betting startup nVenue launched its NFL betting product utilizing its NextPlayLive API Technology. With the technology, bettors, operators, and providers can utilize 70,000 micro-betting markets in real-time during each NFL game. The company also announced sports media maven Matthew Berry would join the company’s advisory board.
- Plano-based retail giant JCPenney launched its new inclusive beauty concept, JCPenney Beauty, in 73 stores nationwide, celebrating the concept’s ribbon cutting at Stonebriar Center in Frisco.
- British luxury automotive manufacturer McLaren officially opened its new North American headquarters in Coppell. The company moved from a 3,500-square foot space in Manhattan to a building nearly ten times that footprint on Belt Line Road. The new headquarters location will house 40 employees, and include the brand’s showroom, work room, corporate offices, and technical training area.
- In-stadium food delivery app company StadiumDrop received a $50,000 growth grant from McKinney Economic Development Corp. and has relocated its headquarters to McKinney at Serendipity Labs—a coworking space off of Highway 121.
- CBRE acquired Full Spectrum Group, a provider of technical support services for laboratory systems in the United States for $110 million. Through the acquisition, CBRE gained a new technical capability, which compliments their existing offerings for occupier clients in the growing research and laboratory equipment sector.
- The John Goff and Jerry Jones-backed esports company GameSquare Esports entered into a merger agreement with Engine Gaming & Media, a data analytics, influencer marketing, and programmatic advertising company. Through the merger, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, GameSquare will own 60 percent and Engine will own 40 percent of the newly combined company—which will operate under the name GameSquare.
- Founded in 2019 by Mark Bunting, new Dallas startup Grata recently closed a $6 million seed funding round. Investors of Grata include Capital Factory, Clutch, Hall Group, and Perot Jain. The new executive team is composed of startup veterans Patrick Brandt (CEO), Wesley Bryan (CTO), Allison Swope (chief product officer), and John Rabara (vice president of customer success).