This article was written by Adam Henry, CEcD, Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.
Venture activity continues to play a critical role to Arlington’s thriving innovation ecosystem, providing capital and strategic investment opportunities for startups and high growth ventures to fuel their expansions.
The 2021 calendar year brought continued uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic’s delta and omicron variants, growing inflation, and sustained global supply chain issues that impacted many sectors including hospitality, restaurants and construction. On a positive note, Arlington-based businesses continued to thrive with venture capital raises, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings (IPOs) which equate to more commercial leases and employment for the community.
According to data collected from Pitchbook.com and independent media sources, Arlington-headquartered companies were involved in more than 30 deals totaling more than $2.5 billion from venture capital raises, mergers and acquisitions, strategic corporate investments and other activity.
Specifically, venture capital provides investment for startups and high growth ventures that show long-term growth potential which in turn creates a larger industry cluster and generates more employment opportunities in the growing technology sector in Arlington and throughout the region.
In 2021, Arlington companies were involved in 21 venture capital deals totaling over $367.8 million. The most notable raise of the year was Interos’ July 2021 $100 million Series C raise, enabling the company to join an elite group of only 4% of ‘unicorn’ startups not only nationally valued at more than $1 billion but also led by a female founder-CEO. Some other notable raises among Arlington-based companies last year include:
- SCYTHE, a local cybersecurity startup, raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Gula Tech Ventures and Paladin Capital Group
- Cybersecurity startup Shift5 announced it raised $20 million in Series A funding led by 645 Ventures, with participation from Squadra Ventures, General Advance, and First In
- Local food tech startup Hungry Marketplace announced it raised $21 million in Series C financing from multiple high-profile investors
- Fintech startup Rize announced it raised $11.4 million of Series A venture funding in a round led by Alpha Edison and Morpheus Ventures
- Geospatial data and analytics company Fraym announced $7 million Series B financing to further scale their AI/ML software
- WireWheel, a data privacy technology company, announced $20 million in Series B financing to speed up its go-to-market plans and establish its leadership position in SaaS
- Stacklet announced it raised $18 million in Series A funding for its cloud governance platform
In addition to the dynamic venture capital activity, Arlington companies were also involved in some notable mergers and acquisitions and IPOs.
- Arlington-based Fluence Energy announced pricing of its Initial Public Offering (IPO), which went on to raise close to $1 billion
- Privia Health, a technology-driven, national physician-enablement company based in Arlington, announced an IPO that raised $448.5 million
- Arlington-based Halfaker and Associates was acquired by Science Applications International for $250 million on July 2, 2021
- Arlington-based Gibbs and Cox was acquired by Leidos for $376 million on May 7, 2021
Despite another turbulent year for business, Arlington-based companies continue to shine in venture activity, which contributes towards establishing the community as a major innovation and entrepreneurial hub nationally. As we continue to see more companies launching, AED is very excited about the prospects of 2022 for startups to raise capital, scale and grow into established companies.
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