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Startups

Biotech firm Vaxin raises $8M [Startup Roundup]

Plus: A Mars-related April Fools' joke from a local crowdfunding platform.

"Mars' up-and-coming Red Hill Neighborhood." (Photo by Flickr user European Space Agency, used under a Creative Commons license)

WHO’S GETTING FUNDED?

Gaithersburg, Md.-based Vaxin, a biotech company focused on developing “novel vaccines,” raised $8 million, the company’s president and CEO Bill Enright told Technical.ly DC. That’s out of a projected $16 million post-acquisition round led by Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap and Truffle Capital. Last month, the company bought Immune Targeting Systems, a London company that developed a synthetic peptide platform technology for vaccines. With the new funding, Vaxin will fund Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for a therapeutic hepatitis B vaccine and push a seasonal flu challenge advocacy study through Phase 2.
Leesburg, Va.-based PhishMe, a anti-phishing software company, raised a $13 million Series B round, it announced last week. Paladin Capital Group and Aldrich Capital Partners were the lead investors.
Bethesda-based Tales2Go, an audiobook service for children, raised a $2.4 million Series A round, it announced last Wednesday. Richard Barth, the CEO of the charter schools network KIPP Foundation, will join the company’s board of directors.

WHO’S MAKING MOVES?

Fundrise, the real estate crowdfunding platform, is offering investments in a condo located in “Mars’ up-and-coming Red Hill Neighborhood,” it announced on April 1. “Virgin Galactic acquired the land in December 2012, and has fully entitled the property through the intergalactic tribunal system,” it announced in a release. Lol.
1776 hired Rusty Greiff — who has worked at New Market Venture PartnersGrockit and Sylvan Learnin — as managing director of education ventures. “What I respect about 1776 is that it doesn’t need or want to be Silicon Valley,” said Greiff in an edSurge blog post.
Lanham, Md.-based Optoro has hired a new sustainability directorAnn Calamai. She has entered the company into the Smarter DC Challenge, a sustainability contest launched by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

WHO’S GETTING BUZZ?

Landover-based edtech company 2U was named “Company of the Year” by the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council.

Companies: Fundrise / Optoro / 76 Forward / 2U

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