Money Moves: These 5 Philly-area companies just raised millions in VC funding - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 18, 2019 12:11 pm

Money Moves: These 5 Philly-area companies just raised millions in VC funding

The late-summer raises for Group K Diagnostics, KickUp, Navrogen, Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Harmony Biosciences range from just under $1 million up to $50 million.
Cash money.

Cash money.

(Photo by Flickr user zack Mccarthy, used under a Creative Commons license)

A handful of Philly-area startups across industries such as biosciences and edtech have announced some late-summer fundraising rounds ranging from just under $1 million up to $50 million.

Late last month, Group K Diagnostics, a Center City-based life sciences company that makes a microfluidics-based, point-of-care diagnostics platform, told Technical.ly that it had raised about $1 million, all from the same sources from which it had previously received funding.

“We are entering a very exciting time in our development strategy with new projects in the pipeline, added team members and expanded manufacturing and R&D capabilities,” said Kimberly Cox, the company’s SVP of strategic communications.

The raise will support those growth initiatives, and help to bring more accessible and affordable point-of-care testing to more people around the world, she added.

We also heard from impact investment firm SustainVC that one of the startups in its portfolio, Old City’s KickUp, just closed a $1.75 million Series A round of funding on Monday.

In a blog post announcing the news, the education technology platform said that its raised funding was now up to $4.75 million, and it will use the Series A to accelerate the company’s customer growth and platform expansion.

“We know personalization works, but it also breeds complexity,” Kickup CEO Jeremy Rogoff said in a statement. “KickUp helps school districts organize that complexity, so they can focus on the important work: growing and retaining great teachers.”

And on Tuesday, Navrogen Inc., a cancer-fighting biotech company, announced a $3.2 million raise.

The company set up shop at St. Joseph’s University earlier this year, Philly Business Journal reported, and focuses on the discovery of tumor produced HIO-factors that are associated with cancer prognosis and therapeutic response of immune-mediated anti-cancer therapies.

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“We are taking on the challenge to develop a new class of anti-cancer therapies for patients whose cancers are associated with elevated HIO-factors and are therefore in need of new medical options,” said Luigi Grasso, the company’s chief scientific officer, in an announcement.

Two other notable raises in the bioscience community are a $15 million raise by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and a $50 million raise by Harmony Biosciences II, Inc. — both based in Plymouth Meeting — according to SEC filings. Neither company responded to requests for comment. Inovio also announced on Wednesday that it had received a $4.6 million National Institutes of Health grant, along with partner The Wistar Institute.

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