Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

App-based pickup truck service lands Ross Perot Jr. as an investor

Brenda Stoner is the founder of Pickup, an app-based service which delivers pickup trucks and drivers on demand.
Brenda Stoner is the founder of Pickup, an app-based service which delivers pickup trucks and drivers on demand. Star-Telegram

Pickup, the Uber-like, app-based business that provides pickup trucks and drivers on demand throughout North Texas, has picked up a big-name investor: Ross Perot Jr.

The billionaire real estate developer has become one of the top investors in the Addison-based company through Perot Jain LP, a technology fund he operates with Anurag Jain, said Pickup’s founder and president, Brenda Stoner. Jain came out of the information technology world as a former executive with Perot Systems and Dell Services.

Also joining as an investor in the most recent round of fundraising: Mike Wetzer, a former partner at Accenture.

Stoner said each will be active as a strategic adviser to the company, lending their expertise and contacts as the company moves to expand into markets in Texas and other states.

“There’s raising money and then there’s raising the right kind of money,” Stoner said in an interview on Friday. “The absolutely fantastic thing about this is that we now have the right kind of money. Strategic, patient. We could not have picked better partners.”

Stoner declined to specify the size of the investment and a spokesman for Perot declined to comment beyond confirming the deal. She said the company hopes to launch in new markets early next year.

Perot, whose Hillwood development firm is behind the sprawling AllianceTexas in north Fort Worth, formed the investment fund last year with Jain to target early-stage tech companies, which are sprouting up all over North Texas.

And we would be remiss to not mention that Perot apparently became interested in Pickup after it was featured on the front page of the Star-Telegram in October.

XTO parking garage approved

This time next year, downtown Fort Worth will have another parking garage.

Construction is slated to begin next month on the 9-story, 833-space parking garage between Sixth and Seventh streets, and Houston and Throckmorton streets, now that the project has received approval from the Downtown Design Review Board.

The parking garage will have street level retail spots, but the garage itself will not be available to the public. The garage will be for XTO Energy employees only.

A company representative told the downtown board last week it will take about 12 months to build.

American exec donates to Air Force Academy

American Airlines President Scott Kirby donated 1,250 shares of American common stock to his alma mater, the Air Force Academy.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made Tuesday, Kirby made the donation to the USAFA Endowment on Dec. 4. Kirby received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and operations research from the Air Force Academy and worked at the Pentagon before joining the airline industry.

Based on Tuesday’s closing price of $44.55, the shares are currently worth $55,687.50.

Goff buys Dallas properties

Fort Worth-based real estate investor John Goff has bought three more buildings in Dallas, in the Historic West End District of downtown.

Goff Capital Partners has partnered with Boston-based Long Wharf Real Estate Partners to buy 501 Elm St., 211 Record St. and 800 Jackson Ave. The office buildings total 182,844 square feet of space.

The buildings were all constructed in the early 1900s and are slated to receive new common areas and suite upgrades.

Long Wharf is a private equity real estate manager that invests on behalf of institutional clients, including public and corporate pension funds, endowments, foundation and family offices.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Sandra Baker: 817-390-7727, @SandraBakerFWST

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko