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Biz Talk: Arlington’s Innovation Economy Had Notable Year Despite Pandemic

This article was written by Adam Henry, CEcD, Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

Venture activity is a critical component to a thriving tech ecosystem, providing capital and strategic investment opportunities for startups and high growth ventures to continue to grow and expand.

Although 2020 was anything but ordinary for the business community, it saw some solid venture activity among Arlington-based businesses. According to data collected from Pitchbook.com and independent media sources, Arlington-headquartered companies were involved in over 40 deals totaling more than $14.8 billion from venture capital raises, mergers and acquisitions, strategic corporate investments, and other activity. The top industries represented in the deals included information technology, government contracting, health care, business and consumer products, and financial services. Additionally, Q1 2020 was a record quarter for Arlington-based companies, which logged 16 deals totaling at least $674.8 million in activity.

Venture capital provides investment for startups and high growth ventures that show long-term growth potential. Arlington companies were involved in 23 venture capital deals totaling more than $329.8 million. Some notable raises among Arlington-based companies include:

  • MotoRefi, a developer of an automotive refinancing platform, announced a raise of $8.6 million in February 2020.
  • HUNGRY Marketplace Inc., an Arlington-based company with a platform connecting top chefs with businesses looking for the best in catered meals, announced a raise of $19.7 million in Series B funding in March 2020.
  • Interos, which provides an AI-powered risk management supply chain platform, announced a raise of $17.5 million in Series B in March 2020.
  • CareerGig — a technology platform and ecosystem that matches freelance and contract workers to top employers, and with independent access to health and financial benefits exclusively tailored for those in the gig economy — announced its initial Seed funding round in June 2020.
  • GoTab secured a $6 million investment to enhance its innovative technology and further bridge the gap between contactless dining and full-service hospitality in September 2020.

Arlington companies were also involved in several mergers and acquisitions, which accounted for 12 deals totaling at least $13.6 billion in activity. Some notable M&A activity includes:

  • Arlington-based Incentive Technology Group (ITG) was acquired by Fairfax-based ICF for $255 million in January 2020.
  • Arlington-headquartered E*Trade Financial Corporation was acquired by Morgan Stanley for $13 billion, first announced in February 2020 and closed in October 2020.
  • Arlington-based Mobile Posse, a developer of an intelligent content discovery platform intended for creating frictionless content experiences on smartphones, was acquired by Austin-based Digital Turbine for $65 million, first announced in February 2020 and completed in March 2020.
  • Announced in April 2020, Arlington-based DivvyCloud reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Boston-based Rapid7 for $145 million.

This activity provides validation for Arlington being an established hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, attracting regional and outside investment across a variety of industries. Arlington Economic Development looks forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for our innovation economy.

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