Funding / Investing / Venture capital

Money Moves: These 6 DC-area companies closed some major funding deals

Recent investment deals for Morning Consult, Novavax, Stardog, Qrvey, SVT Robotics and Embody ranges from $3.5 million up to $384 million.

SVT Robotics cofounders Michael Howes and A.K. Schultz. (Courtesy photo)

Despite the global crisis, funding deals are still coming in hot for DMV-based companies.

We recently reported that Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)’s Seed Fund announced $200,000 investments in both Bethesda, Maryland’s NewConnect and Baltimore’s BullFrog AI. Bethesda-based GreenGen Ventures also made a $125,000 equity investment in Frederick, Maryland-based Datakwip last month as part of the startup’s ongoing seed round.

Other recent funding raises for Morning Consult, Novavax, Stardog, Qrvey, SVT Robotics and Embody range from $3.5 million up to $384 million.

Here’s a roundup of some of the funding deals rolling in for local companies:

Morning Consult

Downtown D.C.-based data intelligence company Morning Consult closed a $31 million Series A funding round led by Lupa Systems and Advance Venture Partners.

Founded in 2014 with a $30,000 investment from cofounders Michael Ramlet, Kyle Dropp and Alex Dulin, the market research and media company delivers analytics in real time using its proprietary data intelligence tech. Morning Consult reports that its survey research platform collects more than 15,000 daily interviews across 12 countries.

“For decades, legacy market research firms have failed to evolve, creating a critically unmet need for innovation,” Ramlet said in a statement. “This investment enables us to more aggressively address that unmet need in the communications, marketing, insights, and strategy functions.”

Headquartered in the District, Morning Consult also has offices in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. The company has a bunch of job openings across all of its locations.


Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Novavax was awarded up to $384 million by Norway’s Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to scale its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The biotech company plans to start clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine while it prepares to produce up to 100 million vaccine doses by the end of the year.

This fresh funding follows an initial $4 million investment from CEPI back in March, when Novavax signed on with Gaithersburg-based Emergent Biosolutions to manufacture the vaccine candidate at its facilities in Baltimore. If approved, the vaccine could be distributed through the World Heath Organization’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

“For the last few months, the entire Novavax team has been working nonstop in an ongoing effort to make our vaccine a reality, and we appreciate CEPI’s confidence in our technology platform and our progress,” Novavax CEO Stanley C. Erck said in a statement.


Arlington, Virginia-based enterprise software company Stardog has expanded its Series B funding round to $11.4 million. The company first closed the round last October with roughly $9 million and has now secured an additional $3 million from new investors Contour Venture Partners, Dcode Capital and Presidio Ventures.

Stardog founder and CEO Kendall Clark said the company plans to use the additional funding to expand its European operations, strengthen its work in the public sector, further develop knowledge graph tools and secure partnerships.

“Our new partners have deep knowledge in critical areas of our go-to-market,” Clark said in a statement. “Now more than ever, knowledge graphs are poised to have a strategic impact on the data management landscape. People need tools that can handle complexity, allowing them to adapt accordingly.”


Tysons, Virginia-based analytics platform company Qrvey closed a $7.5 million Series A funding round led by investors who participated in its previous angel and seed rounds.

Launched in 2015, Qrvey created a business analytics platform built on Amazon Web Services to allow businesses to collect, visualize, analyze and automate any kind of data, the company’s CEO Arman Eshraghi said in a press release. The company is using the fresh funding to scale up its revenue operations.

The close of this Series A comes after Qrvey added some analytics experts to its executive team, including CRO Ben Mathew, VP of Marketing Zane Rathwick, and VP of Research and Development Dave Ploger.

SVT Robotics

Norfolk, Virginia-based SVT Robotics closed a $3.5 million seed funding round led by Cowboy Ventures with participation from Dynamo Ventures, Schematic Ventures, Ludlow Ventures and NRV. The two-year-old robotics software developer created a platform that allows companies to connect their enterprise systems to any robot or automation system.

The company’s cofounder and CEO, A.K. Schultz, said that the pandemic has accelerated the need for robotics to keep up with supply chain demands. SVT Robotics plans to use the fresh funding to expand its product and customer success teams and further develop its robotic Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS).

“Our platform gives any company the power to rapidly deploy new, innovative robotics and the flexibility to alter course quickly to meet the needs of the market,” Schultz said in a press release. “This seed round shows that SVT Robotics has the right product fit for the market today and as it evolves.”


Norfolk-based Embody, developer of medical devices for soft tissue repair, closed a $9.3 million Series A funding round led by Litigit with participation from Cultivate(MD) and 757 Angels. The company will use the funding to expand its team and prepare its flagship soft tissue repair tech, Tapestry, for commercial launch.

“This financing represents a significant step in the growth of Embody,” cofounder and CEO Jeff Conroy said in a statement. “We are now in a position to execute on our goals of commercializing Tapestry, our first in a series of soft-tissue repair products for Achilles, rotator cuff and knee ligament injuries.”

Companies: Morning Consult

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