Austin VC Firm LiveOak Venture Partners Closes Second, $105M Fund

[Updated 4/9/19, 9:45 am ET. See below.Austin—LiveOak Venture Partners announced today it has closed a $105 million fund, its second.

The firm’s “Fund II” has already made six investments, including Austin startups Eventador, Osano, and Rollick, and Dallas-based AmplifAI, LiveOak said in a press release. [Information about one investor.] Among those limited partners includes the Houston-based HX Venture Fund, which Tuesday morning said it has invested $5 million.

In LiveOak’s six-year history, the firm has led or co-led 24 investments in companies. Collectively, these companies have raised over $400 million since LiveOak’s investment, the firm said. Notable portfolio companies include recent exits such as Digital Pharmacist (acquired by K1 Investment Management for over $100 million) and Opcity (acquired by News Corp for $210 million.) Other startups include legal tech firm CS Disco, which raised $83 million in January, and OJO Labs, an Austin-based real estate tech startup which raised $45 million last month.

“Early stage investing is a local neighborhood sport, and as such, we are looking to be the local lead investor and first money in companies to harness their full potential and help create the next generation of category leaders coming out of this market,” Krishna Srinivasan, LiveOak’s co-founder, said in the prepared statement.

LiveOak focuses on making initial investments in the range of $2 million to $4 million, with the possibility of further funding up to $10 million. The firm closed on its first fund of $100 million in December 2013.

[More information about the Houston fund.] HX Venture’s investment is the first since its founding as a fund of funds in 2017 as part of Houston’s efforts to grow the startup community in the Houston region. Last October, HX Venture said it raised $25 million from nine corporate investors from companies such as Insperity, Chevron, Shell, Quanta Services, Westlake Chemical, The Plank Companies, PROS, HEB, and Camden.

Texas had its best quarter for venture investing since the dot-com boom almost 20 years ago. Texas business raised $1.17 billion in new venture capital in the first three months of 2019, more than any single quarter since the three months ended Sept. 30, 2001, according to the MoneyTree report released overnight by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights. About $520 million of that was funneled into later-stage companies, the report says, the most since 1995, when the report’s data begin.

Internet and healthcare companies took about half of the total money raised by Texas companies in the first quarter. That includes a $200 million funding round for Houston-based software maker Onit and Dallas-based clinical pharmaceutical company Peloton Therapeutics, which added $150 million. K1 led Onit’s funding round, while RA Capital Management led the round for Peloton. LiveOak participated in a $45 million funding round for Ojo Labs, which CB Insights and PWC consider an “expansion-stage” company.

Xconomy National Correspondent David Holley contributed to this report.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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