Acquisitions / Baltimore / Biotechnology / Funding / Venture capital

Baltimore Money Moves: Flywheel Digital has been acquired (again) for $835M

Plus, has acquired a Virginia-based security tech company, TEDCO continues to invest in biotech, and more local funding news.

Baltimore at night. (Pexels/Styves Exantus; image has been cropped)
Money Moves is a column where we chart the raises, mergers and other funding news of tech companies across the region on the third Wednesday of the month. Have a tip? Email us at

Another acquisition for a Locust Point digital commerce business

Flywheel Digital, based in Locust Point, has been acquired by global marketing and corporate communications company Omnicom in a cash purchase deal worth approximately $835 million. Flywheel has been supporting consumer product companies selling on Amazon since 2014. Previously, Flywheel was acquired by a London-based information, analytics, events, and ecommerce optimization company, Ascential, in 2018.

With this acquisition, Flywheel will become a practice area within Omnicom, led by Duncan Painter, the current CEO of Ascential. Omnicom aims to use Flywheel’s commerce cloud product and transaction data to expand its influence in the digital commerce and retail media space. The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 2024, pending approvals.

Wood tech for the win

Cambium Carbon, which aims to address climate change through salvageable wood solutions, raised at least $5.1 million, as reported in an SEC filing in October. Cambium also has an SaaS platform, known as Traece, where consumers might purchase products directly from local manufacturers, with the aim to reduce environmental costs associated with supply chains.

Facial recognition tech acquisition

Columbia-based has acquired Tysons Corner, Virginia security tech company Pangiam for approximately $70 million in an all-stock deal, bolstering its vision AI capabilities. This strategic merger combines Pangiam’s advanced facial recognition and biometrics with’s computer vision expertise, expanding its customer base to include airlines, airports and identity-verification companies.

Big money for biotech

In various categories, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission, an independent public body within TEDCO, has selected 12 scientists from research institutions in Maryland to receive shares of a $4 million grant. The grant’s purpose is to encourage research that could lead to advancements in stem cell treatments and technologies across the state. The beneficiaries of this funding include academic institutions Johns Hopkins University and the University System of Maryland, as well as early-stage startups such as Secretome Therapeutics and biotech founder Dr. Jun Wang of Phycin, Inc.

In other biotech news: Thames Street’s ManaT Bio, which develops off-the-shelf therapeutics, raised over $72.1 million in Series C funding, as reported in an SEC filing on Oct. 25.

And a spinout of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, diagnostic device developer Astek Diagnostics, charted a pre-Series A raise of $1.4 million. The round opened up about one month ago and is led by Ayana Capita, founder and CEO Mustafa Al-Adhami told in an email. He elaborated on plans for the round, as it comes just a few months after the company secured $3.1 million in early-stage VC funding in August.

“It is very early in the process,” Al-Adhami said. “There is a chance that a larger VC would end up making it a priced round and taking the lead that way. We are raising $5M and that should be enough to get us to the first read in clinical trials.”

Mustafa Al-Adhami. (Courtesy Astek Diagnostics)

For the brain

Hunt Valley-based neurotechnology company Longeviti Neuro Solutions raised $750,000 as reported in an SEC filing for November. Leadership at Longeviti could not be reached for comment about plans for the round.

Making MAGIC

Westminster’s Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory, aka MAGIC, has secured $274,498 in federal funding through the US Economic Development Administration’s Build to Scale program, joining 59 organizations across the nation. Complemented by a local match of $283,033, these funds will bolster a targeted initiative led by MAGIC called “Grow Rural Opportunity in Maryland (GRO MD).” The program aims to tackle distinctive county-specific nuances, with a focus on enhancing aspects of agriculture, technology, health and education.

Making moves for cyber

Cybersecurity training provider BCR Cyber, a cybersecurity provider, secured two $250,000 grants from the Maryland Department of Labor’s EARN Maryland program. BCR’s aim for the funding will be to continue to train new IT and cybersecurity professionals.

Following September’s investments, TEDCO invests again

EcoMap Technologies, the Baltimore company that specializes in data aggregation platforms, has secured a $750,000 investment from TEDCO’s Seed Funds. This funding infusion aims to bolster EcoMap’s efforts in transforming unstructured data into monitorable datasets, catering to clients across higher education institutions, entrepreneurial communities, as well as various industry and sector ecosystems.

To support the growth of Maryland-based Towson University StarTUp Accelerator alumnus Pirl Technology and its electric vehicle chargers, TEDCO recently invested $200,000. Previously, Pirl’s team of engineers, designers and scientists secured a $25,000 investment from TEDCO’s Rural Business Innovation Initiative (RBII).

Additionally, Remington-based company Sisu Global Health, known for its autotransfusion device Hemafuse, has received a $100,000 investment from TEDCO’s Inclusion Fund. The company is also working on a manual device designed to extract and separate blood into plasma without requiring electricity.

Sisu Global Health had also previously received funding from TEDCO’s RBII initiative for COVID-19.

Smaller but mighty Money Moves

  • Verizon and DC-based Centri Tech Foundation have joined hands to launch the Community Skills Connect Pilot, with an aim to provide digital workforce training to 8,200 low-income residents in DC, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Verizon’s $100,000 grant supports this initiative under the broader Verizon Forward Community Enhancement Award, a $1 million program empowering communities in a tech-driven world.
  • Medical tech startup EpiWatch raised $55,000 for its prescription software, per an SEC filing. The company, which spun out of Johns Hopkins University, successfully raised $415,000 for clinical tests last year.
  • The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) are offering a $25,000 grant through the second annual Mac MacLure Spirit of Leadership Award, celebrating central Baltimore leaders dedicated to equity and lasting change. Nominations are open, so folks can send essays and letters to CBP Executive Director Ellen Janes at by Dec. 4. Awardees should embody these character traits. The recipient of these unrestricted funds will be announced in early 2024.
  • ScienceCast, a Towson-founded open-access website for researchers to publish research, raised $85,000, according to an SEC filing made on Oct. 13.
Companies: Cambium Carbon / Astek Diagnostics / University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) / Sisu Global Health / Robert W. Deutsch Foundation / Johns Hopkins University / Towson University / University of Maryland
Series: Money Moves

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