Potomac Tech Wire - May 22, 2023
Alexandria-based QED Investors Closes on $925 Million for New Funds
o QED Investors Closes on $925 Million for Two New Funds
o Tysons-based Data Intelligence Firm Datasembly Raises $16 Million
o Fifth Third Bancorp Acquires Arlington-based Startup Rize Money
o Tysons-based TEGNA Says it Expects $136 Million Termination Fee
o Amazon Opens First Phase of HQ2 Buildings in Arlington (Photos)
o Columbia-Based Medisolv Lands Investment from BVP Forge
o Virginia Tech Partners with Micron, Others for Semiconductor Talent
o Reston-Based SAIC Names Toni Townes-Whitley as New CEO
o Tysons-Based Alrarm.com Acquires Poland’s EBS
o Briefly Noted: WIT’s 24th Annual Leadership Awards, The Moxie Awards, Accenture Federal Services, Quantum Computing, LinQuest, USA Today Sports Media Group - NWSL, Iridium Communications
Alexandria-based QED Investors Closes on $925 Million for Two New Funds
Alexandria, Va. – Bucking a lull in the fintech sector over the last year, QED Investors, the fintech-focused venture capital firm based in Alexandria, has closed on $925 million for two new funds. QED, started in 2007 by Capital One founder Nigel Morris and Capital One executive Frank Rotman, has become one of the giants in the DC area’s venture space. The firm said $650 million will go toward a new early-stage fund, and $275 million toward a growth-stage fund. QED led the Series A round of Credit Karma, Remitly and Nubank.
“QED has been working intentionally to achieve what we believe is threshold scale in terms of capital, team, skills and brand globally. We are proud to have a world-class team that combines proven operational DNA, experience through multiple economic cycles and the right decision-making frameworks for the current environment,” said Morris. “Growth at all costs will not win the day in this business cycle. Unit economics, product-market fit and clear paths to profitability are the keys to survival, and QED is uniquely positioned to support our companies with the best advice in fintech.”
Tysons-based Data Intelligence Firm Datasembly Raises $16 Million
Tysons, Va. – Datasembly, a Tysons-based startup providing pricing and promotional data to retailers and consumer brands, announced that it has secured $16 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Noro-Moseley Partners with participation from Grotech Ventures, Topmark Partners and Staley Capital. The company said it has amassed years of data from its proprietary data collection engine that can be deployed by grocery stores, retailers and brands to optimize pricing and promotional tactics. The company, co-founded by CEO Ben Reich and former CTO Dan Gallagher, went through the 500 Startups acceleration program in 2014. The company has raised a total of $31.5 million to date.
“Consumer Packaged Goods and retailers need comprehensive, cost-effective, real-time pricing and product availability data,” said John Ale, general partner at Noro-Moseley Partners. “Datasembly provides the best-in-class solution, collecting and normalizing billions of data points weekly. As its customers continue to fight inflation and weather supply chain issues, Datasembly is instrumental in empowering effective pricing, promotion and assortment decisions.”
Fifth Third Bancorp Acquires Arlington-based Startup Rize Money
Arlington, Va. – Rize Money, an Arlington-based payments platform used by fintech and technology companies, has been acquired by Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rize Money’s embedded offering allows its customers to provide financial products through its interface. The company was founded in 2014 by Justin Howell. In a news release about the deal, Fifth Third said Rize Money’s offering will help expand its treasury management business:
“Embedded payments is a core component of Fifth Third’s leading Treasury Management business, supporting clients who value scale, risk sophistication and full range of payment types. The business is growing at double digits and the annual revenue is projected to eclipse $130 million this year, complementing the existing embedded payments and Treasury Management businesses,” the company said in a news release about the deal.
Tysons-based TEGNA Says it is Entitled to $136 Million Termination Fee
Tysons, Va. – After a long-running merger agreement with private equity firm Standard General was ended Monday due to regulatory issues, Tysons-based TEGNA said it is entitled to a $136 million termination fee from private equity firm Standard General. TEGNA is the broadcasting and digital media spinoff of Gannett. The original $8 billion merger agreement faced criticism in DC amid concerns about the possibility of higher television costs, along with job cuts. On Monday, TEGNA also announced a 20% increase in its quarterly dividend. Its stock was up 3% on Tuesday afternoon.
Amazon Opens First Phase of HQ2 Buildings in Arlington
Arlington, Va. – In a media splash on Monday, Amazon formally opened the first phase of its second headquarters in Arlington in a new area called Metropolitan Park. The online retailer said the new office campus – called Amazon’s HQ2 at Met Park – will also have various mixed-use areas featuring restaurants, gyms and other retail offerings. It features two 22-story buildings named Jasper and Merlin.
Columbia, Md.-Based Medisolv Lands Investment from BVP Forge
Columbia, Md. – Medisolv, a Columbia-based healthcare data measurement and reporting software developer, said it has landed a new investment from BVP Forge, an arm of Bessemer Venture Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founder Zahid Butt will remain a significant shareholder in the company and will continue as CEO. Founded in 1999, Medisolv develops software designed to unlock intelligence buried in healthcare data, with the aim of helping users improve both finances and quality of care.
Virginia Tech Partners with Micron, Others to Develop Semiconductor Talent
Blacksburg, Va. – Virginia Tech said it has become a founding member of an 11-university network spanning the US and Japan that has partnered with Micron Technology and the National Science Foundation to cultivate a more diverse and robust talent pipeline for the semiconductor workforce. The initiative is projected to involve 5,000 students over five years, emphasizing engaging women in engineering. Together, Micron, the National Science Foundation, and the university partners will invest $50 million to launch the initiative known as UPWARDS for the Future. The program is designed to deepen ties between industry and higher education, promote industry-backed curriculums, and advance collaborative semiconductor memory research.
Reston-Based SAIC Names Toni Townes-Whitley as New CEO
Reston, Va. – SAIC has named technology veteran Toni Townes-Whitley as its new CEO, effective Oct. 2. She will succeed Nazzic Keene, who plans to retire. Townes-Whitley most recently served as the president of US-regulated industries at Microsoft, and previously was the president of CGI Federal and held several management roles at Unisys. Keene, who has served as CEO since 2019, will become special executive advisor at SAIC through early 2024.
Tysons-Based Alrarm.com Acquires Poland’s EBS
Tysons, Va. – Alarm.com, the Tysons-based security technology company, said it has acquired Poland’s EBS, a maker of intelligent security communicators used primarily in international markets. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Alarm.com said the move allows it to bolster its capabilities to deliver security technologies across various global markets.
“Integrating with EBS smart communicators will expand Alarm.com’s support for legacy security control panels that are widely deployed in international markets,” the company said in a statement. EBS will continue to operate independently under its current management team.
(Reston, Va.) Falls Church-based Women in Technology (WIT), an organization supporting women in the DC technology community, has named the winners of its 24th Annual Leadership Awards, which honor successful female professionals who’ve also excelled in mentorship and sponsorship. The winners, found by clicking here, were announced during a gala in Reston last Thursday.
(Washington, DC) Organizers of The Moxie Awards, which recognize companies and organizations in the DC area demonstrating “boldness in business,” have announced their 2023 finalists in 18 categories. The winner in each category will be announced at an event scheduled for Oct. 25 in Tysons. The complete list of finalists is here.
(Arlington, Va.) Accenture Federal Services has named Rick Driggers and Amanda Satterwhite as the company co-leads of its cybersecurity programs. Driggers, who formerly led the firm’s cybersecurity critical infrastructure team, will serve as Cyber Practice Lead. Satterwhite, who joined Accenture in 2022 following its acquisition of Novetta, will serve as Cyber Growth Lead.
(Leesburg, Va.) Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI), a Leesburg-based developer of quantum computing technology, has signed a deal to potentially acquire New York-based AI company millionways. Under the deal, QCI will provide the company with three bridge loans, starting at $125,000 and potentially going up to $2 million. Upon completion of the loan, QCI will have the right of first refusal to purchase millionways for one year. Millionways has developed what it calls the first “emotionally intelligent AI platform,” providing feedback to users on their emotional state and personality insights.
(Herndon, Va.) Herndon-based LinQuest, a developer of space systems and technology for the defense and intelligence communities, has named Stephen Chambal its executive vice president and chief growth officer. Chambal was previously the co-founder and CEO of The Perduco Group, which was acquired by LinQuest in 2019.
(McLean, Va.) The McLean-based USA Today Sports Media Group, part of media company Gannett, said it has signed a multi-year deal to serve as an official media partner of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). As part of the agreement, the league will access USA Today’s advertising inventory and provide direct introductions to official league sponsors. The deal also includes revenue share opportunities for both parties.
(McLean, Va.) McLean-based Iridium Communications, a mobile voice and data satellite communications network operator, said that Jacqueline Yeaney has been elected to its board of directors. Yeaney, who recently retired, previously served as the executive vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO) of Tableau Software and CMO of Ellucian.
Just one piece of subscriber-only news or connection from Potomac Tech Wire could positively impact your business and professional career for years — it is well worth the nominal fee to support Potomac Tech Wire.