Funding / Resources / Venture capital

In Q1’s VC deals, medtech, software and energy tech brought the funds to the DMV

A kidney care company was among the DC area's top players in 2022's first VC deals, according to new PitchBook/NVCA data.

Money, money and more money. (Photo by Pixabay user nattanan23, used under a Creative Commons license)
Editor’s note: These figures may vary slightly, as some deals aren’t accounted for until weeks after quarterly VC reports are published.
As Q1 closes out, it looks like the DMV’s funding deals are off to a strong start.

PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association today released their Q1 2022 Venture Monitor report, which measures the top trends and deals across the US. For DC metro, it looks like last year’s momentum will continue, although it might be too soon to tell if it’ll surpass 2021’s funding explosion.

In Q1 of 2022, companies in the District of Columbia raised $331.23 million, spread across 31 deals. This is almost a dead ringer for Q1 of 2021, which saw $346 million across 32 deals. This similarity is especially significant when you consider that a few deals typically close after the quarter and are left off this list.

Given the similar numbers, it’s hard to tell what 2022 will bring. Last year, Q1 was only half as big as the top two quarters, Q2 and Q3, which saw $600+ million in each. But it came in almost double the size of Q4.

The metropolitan statistical area around the district also boasted consistent performance, with a Q1 count of $1.778 billion across 94 deals. That is only slightly higher than the $1.329 billion reported in 2021’s first quarter, incorporating 106 deals. Moreover, the intervening quarters boasted comparable numbers, with the money ranging from $1.1 billion in 2021’s Q4 (with 95 deals) and $1.504 billion in Q2 (with 89 deals).

Whether or not the patterns will repeat is still unclear. As of January, though, experts were optimistic about the potential for 2022 following DC’s biggest-ever VC year. Tom Weithman, chief investment officer at the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (formerly CIT), called the funding trends a “new normal” that could be expected to continue this year. Joseph Barlia, senior associate at local startup funder Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, added that he thought 2022 would stay strong, potentially doing even better than 2021.

“Needless to say, I’m bullish on the growth of DC’s startup and venture ecosystem in 2022,” Barlia said at the time.

So, who took home the gold for the top funds brought into the region in Q1? Here are the top 10 deals from the quarter — which included some companies rooted outside the area, though it’s not clear why they’re on the list. Therefore, take their inclusion with a grain of salt:

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club, an NFT marketplace, raised a $450 million round, valuing parent company Yuga Labs at a cool $4 billion. A big caveat here, though: The company doesn’t appear to be HQ’d in the DMV, but in Miami. This one might be skewing the data.
  • Somatus, a kidney care company in McLean, Virginia, took the #2 slot with its $325 million oversubscribed round. Wellington Management led the funds, which will be used to expand the company’s care model. It ups the company’s valuation to over $2.5 billion.
  • Alma, a French buy-now-pay-later company, raised $131 million in February. Reuters reported investments by the Chinese conglomerate Tencent, as well as French state-owned bank Bpifrance. It’s also not clear why this one’s on the list, so again, it might be skewing the data.
  • Interos, the Arlington, Virginia software company that made its unicorn debut last year, raised $126 million in January.
  • Reston, Virginia-based energy tech company GridPoint landed $75 million last month in a raise led by Goldman Sachs Sustainable Investing Group. With the funds, the company plans to add 100 new members to the team.
  • Real estate tech company Curbio nabbed $65 million of investments led by Revolution Growth. Since its founding in 2016, the company has raised $93 million overall.
  • Virtru, a cybersecurity firm in DC, raised $60 million in January with plans to double its headcount.
  • Federated Wireless, a shared spectrum and CBRS company in Arlington, closed $58 million in a Series D from Cerberus Capital Management. It plans to use the money to simplify the purchasing and deployment of its wireless networks.
  • A few months after its $20 million Series A, Arlington cyber firm Shift5 raised $50 million in a Series B deal.
  • SuccessKPI, a SaaS analytics platform for contact centers and texts, raised $33 million. The deal brings its overall value up to $105 million.
Companies: Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation / Revolution / National Venture Capital Association

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