Accelerators / Finance / Funding

Money Moves: PAX Momentum has $100K for startup investments

Plus, Hull Street Energy nabs $1 billion and Construct Capital has a new fund for manufacturing and transportation innovation.

The PAX Momentum cohort for spring 2021. (Courtesy photo)
Update: This article has been updated to include comments from PAX Momentum cofounder and partner Matt Hanson. (4/25/22, 3:55 p.m.)

Money Moves is a column where we chart the funding raises of tech companies across the region. Have a tip? Email us at

PAX doubles investments in participant companies

Local accelerator PAX Momentum just made a huge change for startups in its portfolio: It will now be doubling its investment to $100,000 for each participating company.

PAX, which is based in Darnestown, Maryland, hosts an eight-week accelerator course for startups around the country. Until now, companies that took part in the accelerator received $50,000 investment, as well as $20,000 in services, according to PAX. They also received a valuation and equity stake tailored to each company, and the program focuses on fundraising, revenue and messaging.

The boost in funding comes from additional investments in PAX. Cofounder and partner Matt Hanson told that the Pax Angels, which funds the accelerator, is made up of nearly 24 former entrepreneurs and industry experts. The last two cohorts, he noted, have each been oversubscribed in funding.

“Increasing the investment we make into each company will allow us to expand Pax Angels,” Hanson said. “This means more investors who are passionate about entrepreneurship and who bring a broader spectrum of experiences and perspectives.”

Hanson noted that this money will give the accelerator more opportunities to compete, in terms of funding, with other reputable accelerators. He clarified, though, that PAX has no intention of changing the size or type of companies it works with, and the programming will largely stay the same.

“Honestly, I’m not sure that the extra cash will make a huge difference in the outcomes for our graduates,” Hanson said, adding: “I’m sure that our future companies won’t say no to the extra cash. However, even more important than a single investment [is that] they leave our program with the tools to increase revenue and raise money.”

Hull Street Energy raised $1.125 billion for decarbonization efforts

Bethesda, Maryland-based energy transition investment firm Hull Street Energy just closed its second institutional fund with a raise of $1.125 billion in an oversubscribed round.

Hull’s fund, which invests in energy sector efforts to electrify and decarbonize, will be put toward the Northern American power sector. Specifically, the company noted, it would be investing in middle-market electricity businesses. According to Hull, the funds came from a mix of players such as endowments, foundations, insurance companies, leading consultants, pension plans, funds of funds and family offices.

“The firm is differentiated by its deep understanding of local and regional physical electricity markets and grid operations, and its highly quantitative approach to evaluating and managing power sector assets and businesses,” a statement from Hull said.

Construct Capital has $300 million for transportation innovation

Construct Capital, a women-owned venture fund in DC, just raised $300 million to support innovation in a number of sectors.

The funds, which include $225 million for the company’s second early-stage fund and $75 million in a new fund for later-stage companies, will be used to lead and co-lead seed and Series A rounds. A statement from cofounders Dayna Grayson and Rachel Holt said that Construct would focus on areas such as automating manufacturing, improving supply chains, increasing efficiency in delivery networks and boosting tech-enabled worker experience.

“These industries have been underinvested in for decades,” the founders’ statement read. “The solutions require a total reimagination. And bold, determined founders.”

Here’s who else is raising around the DMV:

  • Tech giant Google announced that it would be investing $300 million into Virginia this year to support the state’s data center economy. The funds will support Google’s outposts in Loudon County, although it doesn’t plan to add any new offices.
  • Maryland startup funder TEDCO invested $100,000 into Potomac startup Safe Check, a SaaS company that provides wellness and HR data.
  • Union Kitchen, a DC-based food incubator, is raising $20 million to expand its shared kitchen and accelerator spaces and invest in its startup portfolio.
  • UK fintech company Wagestream, which established a new US headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, raised $175 million in a round led by Smash Capital. BlackRock, Balderton Capital, Northzone, Fair By Design and Silicon Valley Bank also took part in the round, which will be used to grow the company’s presence in North America.
  • Enterprise microservices company, based in Alexandria, Virginia, raised $7.1 million in a round led by Elsewhere Partners. With the funding, it plans to grow the team, support open source community projects and further build out its platform.
  • DC cryptocurrency intel company Inca Digital raised an undisclosed first funding round led by GTS Capital and Galaxy Digital. Wedbush Capital, Menai Financial Group, Consolidated Trading, Aquamarine Holdings and Grant Gittlin also took part in the round.
  • Ryse Health, a startup with offices in Arlington and Baltimore, Maryland, raised $3.4 million in a round led by W Health Ventures with additional participation from LifeBridge Health and Healthworx. The company created tech to support office and virtual care for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Government contracts

  • Reston, Virginia’s Science Applications International Corp landed a $64 million IT contract with Orange County, California. The company will support IT services as well as the data center, desktop, service desk, applications, networks, voice environment and security operations of Orange County.
  • Telos Corporation, a cyber firm in Ashburn, Virginia, nabbed a $3.1 million contract from the US Air Force Academy’s wifi network expansion program. It’ll be updating and expanding the Wi-Fi systems in a number of the school’s facilities.
  • Reston govtech firm CACI International was awarded a $258 million task order from the Defense Agencies Initiative to modernize and expand its financial management and end-t0-end business tech.
Companies: Union Kitchen / Amazon / TEDCO / Google

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