10 Washington, D.C.-Area Startups That Raised Capital In September

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Written by Ann Brown

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September was a good month for Washington, D.C.-area startups. Ten startups raised $120 million in funding.

D.C. is one of the best places to launch a tech company, according to The Founder Institute, a pre-seed startup accelerator on a mission to “globalize Silicon Valley.”

It’s still rare for Black-owned startups to attract major funding, but 2017 seems to have been the year for Black women-run tech startups.

U.S. startups founded by Black women raised nearly $250 million in venture capital funding in 2017, up from less than $50 million in 2016, Pitchbook reported. That’s based on research by Project Diane, an organization devoted to the growth of tech businesses founded by Black and Latinx women.

Among the big D.C.-area winners in September was one startup founded by a Black tech founder. Chad Hall‘s real estate tech startup Remodelmate added $420,000 to its coffers in a seed funding round.

Arlington-based communications platform LiveSafe — the only listing run by a female executive, Carolyn Parent — pulled in a little more than $11 million in an equity round. Founded in 2012, the startup makes a mobile two-way safety communications platform and risk mitigation tool used by businesses and universities. The recent capital raise is LiveSafe’s biggest to-date, bringing its total funding to about $27 million, American Inno reported.

Taking the lion’s share of funding in September was Fulton, Maryland-based enterprise software company Sonatype, which raised $80 million of venture capital funding. This was more than double its previous investment total. The company manages open-source components companies use to build software systems, and plans to use the new capital to accelerate sales, marketing and R&D, American Inno reported.

Four-year-old tech startup ORock Technologies, which provides infrastructure and cloud services to IT companies and enterprise customers in government, defense and other highly regulated industries, raked in $15 million in an equity round, according to SEC filings. “It appears to be the first major funding round for ORock, which earlier this year added several names to its C-Suite,” American Inno reported.

Founded in 2013, Sayari has 28 employees. The company created a search engine to track corruption, corporate transactions, and bad actors in emerging markets. It “raised $3.2 million to fund its expansion.”

startups
The Capitol building and greater Washington DC metropolitan area are seen from Air Force One. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

This list of funding for September goes on. Cyber defense startup Scythe raised $3 million in an equity funding round.

Clothing care startup Frey, which makes high-end laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and fresheners raised $2.4 million in its first major funding round.

Savings and investment platform Rize raised at least $2 million in fresh funding.

Organic, non-GMO and certified agricultural commodities company Mercaris received $1 million from a pair of investors.

Investment banking firm BroadOak opened a new fund of up to $50 million.

Kumo Capital Partners Fund raised up to $150 million.

It’s still rare for Black startups to attract major funding, but 2017 seems to have been the year for Black women-run tech startups.

U.S. startups founded by Black women raised nearly $250 million in venture capital funding in 2017, up from less than $50 million in 2016, Pitchbook reported. That’s based on research by Project Diane, an organization devoted to the growth of tech businesses founded by Black and Latinx women.