Money Moves is a column where we chart the funding raises of tech companies across the region. Have a tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll admit it, sometimes we get things wrong. In this case, that’s OK.
Back in March when the pandemic hit, we predicted that venture capital deal flow would slow down, but that hasn’t been the case. D.C.-area companies are reeling in millions in funding, while on a national scale, companies like DoorDash, Airbnb and Asana have entered the public sector. (“Investors are tripping over one another to give hot start-ups money,” writes The New York Times — just another reminder that VC, like the stock market, does not represent the economy at large.)
If you haven’t yet, check out our venture capital recaps highlighting deals in the D.C. area from the first, second and third quarters of the year. Be on the lookout for a larger recap of venture capital for 2020 when Q4 closes.
To highlight some of the major money moves we’ve seen this year, below is a recap some of the funding rounds that have helped companies expand to new markets, hire more employees and launch new initiatives. It’s important to note that these are just a few of the many funding deals that stood out this year. There has been plenty of venture capital funding coming into D.C. companies this year, so be sure to check out our frequent Money Moves column and extensive funding archives.
Without further ado, here are 10 companies that closed significant venture capital deals this year:
Penn Quarter-based FiscalNote has been on a growth stride for the past few years, and a few weeks ago, the company announced that it secured $160 million in growth capital and debt financing. So far, this is the largest funding raise we’ve seen this year in the D.C. area.
The seven-year-old company provides software and intelligence for workflow analysis and runs a legislative prediction platform. Since more organizations are using its platform due to the pandemic, FiscalNote said it’s putting this fresh funding toward further product development and services as demand increases.
FiscalNote has raised more than $210 million in venture capital to date, and this recent funding round comes two years after the company acquired CQ Roll Call. This growth capital is the first major funding announcement FiscalNote has shared since it closed a $22 million Series D in the spring of 2018.
After closing $1.8 million in Series A funding in August 2019, Sterling, Virginia-based pathogen-testing company Aperiomics raised an additional $1.2 million to add to the round, officially closing at $3 million. This new investment came as the biotech company ramped up its operations when the pandemic hit. A week after the stay-at-home order was announced in D.C., Aperiomics launched a COVID-19 test.
As the company continues to grow, Aperiomics is raising a $1 million bridge note to help fund the company until it closes a Series B. Check out this story on how the biotech company quickly responded to the pandemic. (And psst, that one made it into our top 10 best-read stories of the year.)
Edtech company ClassEDU came out of stealth mode in September with $16 million in seed funding. The company is cofounded by prominent D.C.-based entrepreneur Michael Chasen, who also cofounded and formerly led Blackboard for 15 years. ClassEDU is working on bringing its edtech software product, Class for Zoom, to market. The software is an easy plugin to add some everyday capabilities for educators, such as taking attendance, curating quizzes and grading, which will help as virtual instruction continues.
This funding raise was unique since the business idea spawned from all of the virtual schooling happening due to the pandemic. Class for Zoom secured funding from an array of investors including Santi Subotovsky, a Zoom board member, and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
On-demand manufacturing marketplace Xometry closed $75 million in equity funding to continue expanding its platform. The company has raised more than $193 million in venture capital since its inception in 2013, with $130 million of that raised in the last year alone. This equity round comes after Xometry raised a $55 million Series D last year.
Back in May, the #1 startup on Technical.ly DC’s 2020 RealLIST Startups raised $127 million for expansion and to launch a new affiliate company. This was the biggest deal in the region for the second quarter.
The three-year-old insurance tech startup provides workers’ compensation insurance to small and medium-sized businesses via its website. With this big funding round, Pie Insurance used $100 million to launch Pie Carrier Holdings, where it will create and purchase licensed insurance companies. Through its affiliate, Pie also plans to issue a portion of its own insurance policies. Pie Carrier Holdings has been registered with the Security and Exchange Commission since announcing this news.
After being bootstrapped with an initial $100,000 investment from founder Dipanwita Das in 2018, Adams Morgan-based Sorcero closed this $3.5 million bridge round in the spring. This funding raise was especially interesting because Das said she wasn’t actively seeking to raise venture capital, but investors were loud and clear about their willingness to support the growing company.
This new funding also came with four new team members for Sorcero. Daw previously told Technical.ly that her company is looking to hire engineering folks displaced by the pandemic; check out these few tech roles Sorcero has open.
Reston, Virginia-based satellite communications company Ligado Networks closed $100 million in funding as it continues to build on its 5G Internet of Things networks. This large funding raise came after the company received FCC approval to “update its spectrum licenses to provide new 5G services.” Ligado has been testing its 5G tech for several years, so a funding raise will take the company into the next phase of development for its wireless ecosystem.
(Airposted cofounder Rayan Rahman predicts that 5G will be widely adopted in the new year; check out his guest post for other trends and predictions.)
Herndon, Virginia-based cybersecurity company Expel Inc. raised a $50 million Series D to grow into new markets and expand its sales and marketing teams. Excluding 2017, Expel has closed venture capital deals every year since its founding, including a $7.5 million Series A in 2016, a $20 million Series B in 2018 and a $40 million Series C in 2019.
The company is staying steadfast on its mission to expand its team, with 10 open roles listed on its site across engineering, marketing, sales and customer experience.
Just as the pandemic began to sweep the nation, Rosslyn, Virginia-based HUNGRY announced the close of a $20 million Series B in early March. Like its $8 million Series A funding raise last April, this latest round gained a lot of support from celebrities: Some of the investors were actor Kevin Hart, Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners fund, Los Angeles Rams runningback Todd Gurley and former White House chef Sam Kass.
HUNGRY is one of the many companies that pivoted during the pandemic by offering the option to ship its chef-made meals directly to consumers instead of just offices, as it previously did.
Arlington, Virginia-based healthcare provider Advantia Health secured $45 million to accelerate its expansion plans which includes acquiring more companies, bring on more providers, grow its services and to fund its flagship women’s health practice here in D.C. This deal came in a early January before the pandemic hit yet the company continued focused on these plans.
Advantia acquired Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin, a comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology practice that’s over 40 years old, over the summer, and the company also tapped new COO Kathy B. Kaluhiokalani. Since the pandemic started, Advantia has pivoted to offering telemedicine video visits to all of its patients.-30-