Money Moves is a column where we chart the funding raises of tech companies across the region. Have a tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following a banner 2020, local tech companies are already having a strong funding year with a remarkable number of venture capital deals rolling in within just a few weeks.
If you haven’t been following, this is now the third time we’re publishing Money Moves — a column that we normally publish just once per month — in January. Check out our first two additions of the column this month, which includes ClassEDU’s $30 million investment and a $100 million deal for Bethesda, Maryland-based Aledade.
Downtown D.C.-based fintech company MPOWER Financing raised $25 million from New York-based Tilden Park Capital Management.
The seven-year-old company provides a platform to connect international and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students to educational loans. This latest funding round comes after MPOWER raised $9 million last year to fuel its growth plans. This fresh funding will be used to further develop its digital platform and expand its D.C. and India teams, with plans to hire more than 50 employees across engineering, analytics, HR, finance, marketing and operations.
MPOWER currently works with more than 350 universities across North America to finance educational loans. The company has raised $270 million in venture capital since its inception.
D.C.-based Hurdle closed a $5 million seed round led by 406 Ventures and Seae Ventures with participation from F-Prime.
Launched in 2018, the startup developed a digital mental health platform with a focus on providing mental health services and self care support to people of color. Hurdle plans to use the new funding to expand its leadership team and scale its mental health platform.
“With depression spiking in Black and minority communities, this year is an inflection point in mental healthcare,” said Hurdle founder and CEO Kevin Dedner in a statement. “The events of 2020 present a unique opportunity for Hurdle to create solutions that work for anyone, but most importantly, for the most underserved populations.”
D.C.-based Lupl raised $14 million ahead of its expected public launch this year. The company developed an open source software platform for the legal industry that’s currently being tested at a number of firms including Cooley, Rajah & Tann Asia, Slaughter and May and One Essex Court. The company raised $10 million prior to its beta launch and reports that more than 500 firms have joined a waiting list to implement its flagship product.
In the midst of preparing for launch, Lupl is also still building its team with the addition of Jeff Green as CEO and Cheryl Wilson Griffin as chief customer officer who will work alongside the company’s chief commercial officer, Matt Pollins. The company plans to expand its team to 75 employees worldwide by the end of the year.
“During our beta phase, we’ve been blown away by the interest in our open industry platform amongst legal departments, law firms, technology and knowledge providers,” Pollins said in a statement. “This is a pivotal year for Lupl and I’m excited to be joined by Jeff and Cheryl as we start to scale up our global team to launch the platform in 2021.”
Arlington, Virginia-based Stacklet, developer of cloud management software, closed an $18 million Series A led by Addition with participation from Foundation Capital and individual investor Liam Randall. Cofounded by Travis Stanfield and Kapil Thangavelu, the young startup emerged from stealth last August with $4 million in seed funding. Stacklet has raised $22 million in venture capital to date.
The company provides a solution that addresses enterprise needs on cloud governance including security, operations, visibility and cost optimization. Addition and Foundation Capital both participated in the startup’s seed funding round as well.
“In just eight months, Travis and Kapil have gone from an idea to a functioning team with 15 employees, signed early Fortune 2000 design partners and are well on their way to building the Stacklet commercial platform,” Foundation Capital’s Sid Trivedi told TechCrunch. “They’ve done all this while sheltered in place at home during a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. This is the type of velocity that investors look for from an early-stage company.”
Other funding news from around the region:
- D.C.-based Please Assist Me nabbed $150,000 at the Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s third annual Million Dollar Challenge yesterday.
- Arlington, Virginia-based public benefit software company Second Front Systems has added $2.1 million to its original $6 million seed round.
- Arlington-based fintech company MotoRefi raised a $10 million Series A-1 following the close of its first Series A last year amounting to nearly $9 million.
- The Northern Virginia Technology Council and Freedom Bank of Virginia are raising a $50,000 revolving loan fund to help entrepreneurs of color in the NoVa region.
- Bethesda, Maryland-based Rotunda Capital Partners raised $195 million for its debut institutional private equity fund.
- Bethesda, Maryland-based HR software company Employee Navigator raised a $34 million growth round from JMI Equity to expand its team and product offerings.
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