Finance / Funding / Investing / Venture capital

Money Moves: New funding is rolling in for these 5 DC-area companies

Recent investments in MPOWER Financing, INKY Technology, Ligado Networks, Snagajob and pathOtrak range from $1.2 million up to $100 million.

Snag's mobile interface as of 2018. (Courtesy photo)

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

After having a strong Q1 for venture capital, companies in the DMV region have continued to close large funding deals as we move into the second quarter of the year.

We recently reported that Herndon, Virginia-based cybersecurity company Expel Inc. closed a $50 million Series D funding round, and the #1 biz on DC’s 2020 RealLIST Startups, Pie Insurance, raised $127 million in new funding last month.

Other recent funding raises for MPOWER Financing, INKY Technology, Ligado Networks, Snagajob and pathOtrak range from $1.2 million up to $100 million. Here’s the info on those deals:

MPOWER Financing

The downtown D.C.-based fintech company raised $9 million in fresh funding, which includes investments from Breega, Potencia Ventures, AI8, Cometa, Zephyr-Peacock, 1776, Fresco Capital, 1994 LLC and Goal Structured Solutions.

Launched in 2014, the company provides a platform to connect international and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students to educational loans. MPOWER reports working with more than 350 universities and colleges and receiving more than $2 billion in loan application volume on its platform.

This round of funding will be used to expand the company’s products and services, and comes after MPOWER secured $100 million in loan financing capital last August from Goldman Sachs.

“Given international students are essential to universities’ financial health, and many more students would come if tuition was more accessible, this is a huge opportunity. I’m very grateful for investors’ support,” said MPOWER cofounder and CEO Manu Smadja in a press release. “MPOWER is honored to play a small part in enabling international education at such a critical time in history.”

INKY Technology

This College Park, Maryland-based email protection company closed a $20 million Series B funding round led by Insight Partners. The fresh funding will help the company accelerate enterprise adoption and global expansion, including expanding its footprint in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

“This Series B funding gives us the resources we need to serve the incredible demand we’re seeing from enterprise customers in particular, and will allow us to expand our go-to-market efforts globally,” said INKY cofounder and CEO Dave Baggett in a statement. “INKY has seen phishing attacks more than double since the COVID-19 pandemic began, creating an even more urgent need for us to deploy our solution globally and at scale.”

Launched about three years ago, INKY makes cloud-based email protection software. The company has raised $31.6 million in venture capital to date, including a $6 million Series A raised last November.

Ligado Networks

The Reston, Virginia-based satellite communications company announced that it has raised $100 million in new funding to build 5G IoT networks. The investors in this round were not disclosed.

Last month, the company received Federal Communications Commission approval to “update its spectrum licenses to provide new 5G services” after testing for several years, per a press release. The new funding will specifically be used to expand Ligado’s wireless ecosystem as it moves into its next phase of development. Ligado CEO Doug Smith said that this investment will also help the company expand with the creation of new jobs.


Arlington, Virginia-based Snag Holdings Inc., the parent company of job search platform Snagajob, has raised $8 million in new funding, according to an SEC filing.

“This was an insider round to fund operations and growth, and the round has closed,” spokesperson Andrea Barger told the Washington Business Journal.

This funding round is the first under Snagajob CEO Mathieu Stevenson, who took over at the 20-year-old company last June. He’s the third CEO Snagajob has had in the last three years.

The news also comes after Snagajob announced the appointment of Brian Schmidt to chief revenue officer. Schmidt joins the company after seven years with Tripadvisor where he led global sales and operations. He’s also held leadership positions at Google, where he built and led the company’s national enterprise Health Services team.


College Park, Maryland-based pathOtrak closed a $1.2 million seed round, which includes a $150,000 investment from the University System of Maryland Maryland Momentum Fund.

“We are excited to have the Momentum Fund close our seed round at a moment when we are about to send our first product for food-safety accreditation,” said pathOtrak founder and CEO Javier Atencia, Ph.D., in a statement. “We are ready and eager to disrupt the food industry by simplifying operations that still rely on lengthy food-safety tests.”

The four-year-old startup is the developer of a rapid food test for salmonella and E. coli in food. pathOtrak’s sample-prep kit, Next Generation Enrichment, uses a microfiltration tech that expedites testing to provide results in one to two days.

“pathOtrak’s mission is to eliminate food-safety risks and gaps in the food industry by delivering the right technologies at the right price, saving producers cost and testing labs time,” Atencia said. “Our technology aims to increase shelf life, reduce food waste, and, most importantly, save lives.”

Companies: MPOWER Financing

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