Money Moves: Arlington cyber firm Shift5 raised a $20M Series A round - Technical.ly DC

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Money Moves: Arlington cyber firm Shift5 raised a $20M Series A round

Plus, BrainScope raised $35 million in fresh funding and Xometry has a new scholarship program for Howard University students.

Josh Lospinoso is cofounder and CEO of Shift5.

(Photo via Linkedin)

With cyber attacks continuing to hit folks close to home, Arlington, Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Shift5 announced a $20 million Series A round this week.

Investors 645 Ventures led the round, with additional funding from Baltimore-based Squadra Ventures, General Advance and First In. Shift5, a 50-person company founded in 2018, specializes in cyberattack protection for fleet infrastructure in platforms like ships, aircraft carriers and more.

Going forward, the firm will be investing in hiring, expanding its core infrastructure programs and educating operators, legislators and regulators on the significance of the issue, Shift5 said.

In a post announcing the news, cofounder and CEO Josh Lospinoso said that the raise points to the need for cybersecurity protection for fleets in the defense market.

“Our Series A funding represents a recognition that cyber-physical attacks against fleets are the next cybersecurity frontier,” Lospinoso wrote. “We’re now in an era where such intrusions are affecting our daily lives. Just this year, people were unable to pump gas. We were legitimately concerned about food security. New Yorkers couldn’t rely on public transportation. We are thinking twice about the water coming out of our taps. Ship operators can’t trust their sensor data. For the military, these kinds of attacks are not theoretical. The U.S. government is working to address these evolving needs meaningfully — by taking steps to modernize national cyber defenses and working to approve record budgets to better secure national infrastructure.”

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Bethesda, Maryland medtech startup BrainScope inked a $35 million deal to bring its concussion device to the commercial market.

As part of an intellectual property-based funding arrangement, the UK’s Aon PLC will provide the funding, which also allows BrainScope to develop new clinical applications for the technology. This funding is on top of a $15 million round the company raised earlier this year.

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According to CEO Susan Hertzberg, the company built FDA-approved technology that’s able to assess brain bleeds and concussions in a few minutes.

“We are thrilled that we will be able to expand our commercial footprint to reach more hospitals and connect with concussion centers in light of the real need for objective detection of brain injury,” Hertzberg said in a statement. “BrainScope will collaborate with Aon in order to leverage its significant intellectual property expertise and innovative capital solutions while furthering BrainScope’s mission to transform patient care in brain injury and disease.”

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In the wake of its wildly successful IPO in June, in which its shares jumped up 98% to raise the company $302 million, Xometry is sharing its wealth with area students.

The AI-based manufacturing marketplace announced its Xometry Scholars Program this month, in collaboration with Howard University. The company will provide eight scholarships over four years for students in the mechanical engineering department, within the school’s College of Engineering and Architecture.

In total, the company pledged $900,000 to the fund, which will be available to students in financial need with interests in a manufacturing career.

“Xometry has always supported causes ranging from education to environmental conservation to civic responsibility, and we are proud to formalize this program through the creation of the Xometry Scholars Program,” said cofounder Laurence Zuriff in a statement. “Part of reestablishing U.S. manufacturing leadership is expanding the cohort of talented mechanical engineers, machinists and technicians. In order to accelerate innovation, the U.S. needs more than just material infrastructure. It needs to invest in training the next generation with the skills that are essential to modern manufacturing. We are proud to do what we can to make an impact here.”

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Here’s who else is moving money around the DMV:

Fundraising

  • Cooking Channel alum Grace Choi is raising a $1 million round for Larabee, her cooking tech startup. If successful, she plans to officially launch the company in 2022, the Washington Business Journal reports.
  • Fulton, Maryland-based Cloudtamer.io raised a $9.5 million Series A round led by Blue Heron Capital and TDF Ventures. The cloud provider will use the funds to build out its engineering team as well as expand marketing and sales. Technical.ly Baltimore has more.
  • Hotglue, a startup based in Gaithersburg, Maryland that helps developers connect with business apps, completed a $1.5 million seed round led by Uncommon Capital and an unnamed group of angel investors, Techcrunch reported. Its 20-year-old cofounders, Hassan Syyid and David Molot, dropped out of the University of Maryland last year to launch the company.
  • DC-based healthcare analytics firm Pivotal Analytics completed a $10.2 million Series A round led by an unnamed medical office space provider.
  • SYNAPS Dx, a Rockville, Maryland research, development and commercialization firm focused on neurodegenerative disorders, completed a $10 million Series A raise. The funding, which came from a mix of private equity, individual and family funds and corporate investments, will be used to scale operations and meet market demand.

Government deals

  • Telos Corp, a cybersecurity firm based in Ashburn, Virginia, nabbed a $19.4 million expansion task order from the Air Force for Xacta, its cyber risk product. Through the contract, Telos will provide assessments of sensitive information, surveillance and intelligence.
  • BigBear.ai, a cloud data and AI provider based in Columbia, Maryland, landed the TACTICALCRUISER contract from the US Cyber Command. The five-year, single-provider contact will center on AI and machine learning-based business intelligence.
  • Centreville, Virginia’s Parsons Corporation was awarded a spot in a five-year, $249 million contract from the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command. Per the contract, the firm will be providing projects to support facility resilience.
  • The US Economic Development Administration awarded the Maryland Clean Energy Center with a $750,000, three-year grant for its Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator project. The funding will be used to expand the accelerator’s programming and provide additional support for local clean tech startups.

Acquisitions

  • Supernus Pharmaceuticals, a research and development firm based in Rockville, announced this week that it will be acquiring California’s Adamas Pharmaceuticals for $450 million. The deal is expected to close in late 2021 or early 2022.
  • Utah’s Qualtrics completed its $1.1 billion acquisition of Reston, Virginia AI analytics platform provider Clarabridge.
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