Venture Capital Flowing Thick and Fast Into Dallas Startups

If you’re looking for evidence of momentum in the Dallas-Fort Worth startup community, all you have to do is follow the money trail to see how rapidly it’s gaining pace.

“Big D” might still be living in the shadow of startup hubs like Austin, but the never-ending flow of venture capital into Dallas-based tech startups suggests it might not have to play catch up forever.

Modo Payments lands $2M to build out payment infrastructure

The most recent cash infusion into the Dallas startup scene comes by way of Tim Keith, CEO of Texas Central Partners LLC, who has just plowed $2 million into the Richardson-based startup Modo Payments in order to help it build out its payment services offering.

Founded back in 2010, Modo Payments started out as just another payment provider enabling in-store mobile payments, with the idea of offering discounts on people’s purchases as a way of providing value. Since then, though, the company has abandoned that idea to reinvent itself as a provider of technology that connects payment systems via the cloud. For example, its COIN transaction software can link loyalty platforms to a variety of retailers, allowing customers to use loyalty points acquired elsewhere with different retailers. It’s a promising model that helped the company rake in an impressive $1.7 million in bookings over the last year, Modo CEO Bruce Parker told the Dallas Business Journal.

Now, armed with fresh funds, Parker has even bigger ideas – later this spring, the company is planning to launch a partnership with an unnamed payment provider “that competes with PayPal,” Parker said. And as if that wasn’t ambitious enough, it’s also looking to help out companies like Google and YouTube no less, with a new payment service that lets it easily pay content publishers.

“We have a way to connect them to 40 different payment systems around the world,” Parker said, without revealing any more details.

5Miles gets massive Chinese backing to take on Craigslist

Modo Payments isn’t the only Dallas startup raking in the venture capital this year. Late last month, local mobile marketplace 5Miles put Modo’s $2 million haul to shame when it closed on a whopping $30 million Series B funding round led by Chinese investors SIG-China, Blue Lake Capital, IDG Capital Partners and Yanxing Sanren.

The huge amount of capital raised by 5Miles serves proof that simple ideas really do work best. 5Miles offers a free mobile app that’s essentially a Craigslist clone – albeit one that’s much more beautiful – that allows people to buy and sell products and services to anyone in their local area. The company now counts 45 employees at its Dallas and newly formed Beijing offices and has expanded beyond its home city to serve Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Philadelphia, as well.

Oculus360 closes $3.69M Series A round

Oculus360, Inc. also received an impressive windfall earlier this month when it scooped a $3.69 million Series A round led by Hal Brierley and Trailblazer Capital. Oculus360, which offers a “customer demand data analytics platform,” has already attracted clients in the automotive, retail and consumer products industries and is planning to use the cash to build out its sales and marketing teams and make improvements to its software, with the end goal being to break in to new industries.

“The revenue growth is a key element,” Raju Kattumenu, Oculus360 CEO, told the Dallas Business Journal. “(We’ll be) attacking new verticals in particular as relates to travel, hospitality and specialty retail.”

Photo source: Pixabay

Blog post by: Mike Wheatley

Staff Writer