Startups
Funding / Investing / Startups / Venture capital

Money Moves: Apkudo raised nearly $38M to grow its international presence

Plus, $3 million for CoapTech, $1 million for Astek Diagnostics and Johns Hopkins' new student entrepreneurship award with over $100,000 for winners.

Baltimore's skyline. (Courtesy photo by Anthony Lynch)
Money Moves is a column where we chart the funding raises of tech companies across the region. Have a tip? Email us at baltimore@technical.ly.

Canton-HQed supply chain automation company Apkudo raised an over-$37 million Series C.

Apkudo, a company located in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood that specializes in enhancing supply chain transparency for connected devices, recently raised $37.5 million in its Series C funding round. President Chad Gottesman said the new capital will be used to expand the company’s technical staff, international reach and platform capabilities, among other components.

He specifically told Technical.ly via email that the investment will go toward growing the company’s engineering teams, establishing a physical presence outside the US, building out the go-to-market function and expanding from mobility to computers. The Series C began in October 2022 and was completed on Feb. 10, with Closed Loop Partners’ Leadership Fund and Piper Sandler Merchant Banking leading the investment round. MissionOG, Harbert Growth, Grotech Ventures, Lavrock Ventures, and Point Field Partners also joined as investors. 

The raise was so large that it appeared atop the latest PitchBook Venture Monitor’s list of the Baltimore region’s largest Q1 deals.

Downtown Baltimore-based medical device startup CoapTech raised $3 million

CoapTech, founded by critical care physician Steven Tropello, raised $3 million in a debt financing round that the company logged with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 4. CEO Howard Carolan played a key role in securing the recent investment, which will help the company expand its ranks and accelerate product development.

CoapTech uses a patented platform technology called the Point-of-care Ultrasound Magnet Aligned (PUMA) System to disrupt multiple medical procedures, as well as improve efficiency, safety, quality, patient experience and access to services worldwide. The PUMA System was invented by Tropello, a Johns Hopkins-trained doctor, and enables diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic procedures in hollow organs.

Biotechnology bustles in Baltimore as medical device startup Astek Diagnostics raises $1 million

Astek Diagnostics, a medical device company that appeared on Technical.ly’s 2022 RealLIST Startups roster, successfully raised $1 million in early-stage VC funding from three investors as of April 5. The company aims to put the funding toward the continued development of its device, which employs a single-use cartridge to detect bacterial infections in blood samples and fight antibiotic resistance.

Just after returning from representing Baltimore at the Startup Grind Global Conference, Astek Diagnostics also announced the successful completion of a pilot study for its Jiddu benchtop analyzer. The device provides rapid, point-of-care diagnosis and antibiotic sensitivity testing; it demonstrated high levels of performance, with a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 92%. The company is now targeting a market launch in late 2024. In addition, Astek Diagnostics has been named a finalist for the Maryland Technology Council’s 2023 ICON Awards in the Life Sciences Company of the Year category.

Here’s who else made big money moves in recent months:

  • In Q1 2023, one of the top deals in the Baltimore metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was secured by biotech firm Sonavex, which raised approximately $3 million in a late-January funding round that the aforementioned Venture Monitor referred to as “Series A2.”
  • Another Baltimore-based biotech startup, Previse, also raised $3 million in seed funding last month. The company is situated within Sinai Hospital in West Baltimore and specializes in creating innovative diagnostic tests.
  • Johns Hopkins University recently launched the President’s Venture Fellowship, a new student entrepreneurship award with over $100,000 in funding. The fellowship is highly competitive and focused on new alumni pursuing full-time business ventures in Baltimore after graduation. Winning teams will receive non-dilutive funding for startup expenses, and the project lead may be eligible for additional stipend coverage. Fellows will also receive direct mentorship from university leaders and alums and participate in campus programs to inspire emerging student entrepreneurs.
  • Flavocure Biotech, which seeks to transform natural products into new cures for patients, raised $1 million in a seed round on Jan. 4, just as the new year began.
  • According to a press release sent to Technical.ly, Comcast has awarded a $20,000 grant to The Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) in Baltimore to promote digital skills training and broadband adoption among military veterans. Comcast additionally donated 100 laptops to participants. The donation is part of Comcast’s Project UP, a $1 billion, 10-year commitment to advance digital equity through programs and community partnerships.
  • Last but not least: Vheda Health, a virtual health engagement company, raised $1 million in a later-stage round on Jan. 6.
Companies: Astek Diagnostics / CoapTech / Sonavex / Apkudo / Johns Hopkins University
Series: Money Moves

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