Top 10 tech startups based in Baltimore

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Photo courtesy: VisitBaltimore


One of America’s oldest cities boasts some of the newest and most interesting tech startups



Baltimore, funded in 1729, is one of America’s oldest cities. Close to the nations capital in Washington D.C., Baltimore has a port, advanced universities, medical research facilities, and the influence of politics on many industries.

Nearly three million people fill the greater Baltimore area. Not part of any county, the City of Baltimore was established by the state constitution, containing nearly 625,000 residents in the largest independent city in the U.S.

Universities, medical schools, politics, and financial services make a tasty stew that can feed a wide variety of startups. The ones below cover a breadth of solutions rarely seen in one locale. But Baltimore, as native son Edgar Allen Poe would say, has “The Bells” and more.

ZeroFOX Solutions

Photo courtesy: ZeroFox

With the tag of “We find the bad stuff on social media,” ZeroFOX does just that. Services protect clients against corporate and executive impersonations, intellectual property theft, customer fraud, highjacked accounts, targeted phishing, and more. Social media presents the widest attack profile of your company, and ZeroFOX helps protect you.

As Facebook and Twitter rose, so did ZeroFOX. Starting in 2013, the company has received a total of $80.5 million in five different rounds of venture funding from some serious players in the security investment community. Is 13 a lucky number? That’s how many investor groups have backed ZeroFOX.

Blispay

Photo courtesy: Blispay

Retailers need hooks for customers, and “No Payments No Interest” for a period of time after a purchase of a qualifying amount works. Leverage customer smartphones for the application and payment, like Blispay does, and you have a winner for both sides of the retail transaction.

Credit isn’t new, but Blispay is fairly young, starting in 2014. Founders come from a variety of financial backgrounds, and that helped ring up $26 million or $29.6 million in investment rounds depending on your favorite tracking database. Either way, $2 million in annual revenue says this hook works on customers.

RedOwl

Photo courtesy: RedOwl

Every company’s biggest security risk walks through the door every workday: an employee. Maybe dozens of employees, all working in different ways to steal your intellectual property, your customer list, your financial records. RedOwl protects your most exposed vector: attacks from inside.

Beginning in late 2011, it took another 18 months of below-the-radar development to receive a $100k grant. Six months later, in September 2013, $2.75 million in debt financing filled the coffers, followed by two more placements in June 2014 and Julyl 2015 for a total of $24.45 million. Revenue estimates are in the $2 million range.

WellDoc

Photo courtesy: WellDoc

An interesting combination of medical technology and behavioral science, WellDoc helps patients with chronic disease management. Diabetes control product BlueStar focuses on reducing A1C, keeping patients and doctors in sync to improve health through self-management.

Starting over a decade ago in March of 2005, WellDoc doesn’t seem like a classical startup, but the bulk of their funding started arriving in 2014. After $196.97k venture funding in early 2009, the well stayed dry until $1 million in December 2013 followed a month later by $20 million in Series A money. A second large injection of $22 million from Samsung Ventures arrived in December 2015. All told, 10 rounds for a total of $60.7 million fuel the nearly $4 million in annual revenue.

InSilico Medicine

Photo courtesy: InSilico

The medical schools around Baltimore help trigger multiple startups. Another medical player is InSilico Medicine, leveraging the Johns Hopkins University and their Emerging Technology Centers. Goal? “Skunkworks for radical innovation in healthcare,” meaning they’re using big data analysis to search for cures to cancer and aging. Hurry, InSilico, hurry.

Big data hasn’t been affordable for all that long, as shown by InSilico’s start date of 2014 with an undisclosed amount of seed money in April, followed by another seed round with no details in November 2015, bother from Deep Knowledge Ventures. An SEC Form D notice shows $10 million arrived from an unknown investor in December of 2016. Estimated revenue is already up to nearly $5 million.

eOriginal

Photo courtesy: eOriginal

The Internet means you can do many things from many places. Contrast that with the 15th century holdover of signing your name on physical paper for legal transactions. Back in 1996 eOriginal started to move signing to the digital age. So why call them a startup? Because they are becoming more diversified every day, and the bulk of their funding came quite recently.

Possibly premature optimism landed them $16 million in the summer of 1999, followed by $9 million the next year. Then a long drought, as the law and bureaucrats caught up to technology and $26.5 million n equity funding from LLR Partners validated their general niche and particular products and services.

Terbium Labs

Photo courtesy: Terbium Labs

Hackers target companies miniscule to multi-national to steal data, among other things. How do companies protect intellectual property that disappears? They call Terbium Labs to monitor the illegal corners of the dark web and alert them when stolen information appears online.

Founded in 2013 by Michael Moore (not the filmmaker) and Danny Rogers, the pair gathered $3.7 million (or only $2.3 million according to some sources) in seed money in July 2015. But in February 2016, .406 Ventures pitched in another $6.4 million in venture funding.

Social Solutions

Photo courtesy: Social Solutions

Many preach about using technology to disrupt and dramatically improve government services, but Social Solutions put in the hard work to make that happen. Their ETO (Effort To Outcomes) software was launched by a small team trying to improve the effectiveness of social services. Now they’ve expanded into case management, donor and volunteer tracking, and outcomes management, and established a presence in Austin Texas.

Founded in 2000 by four people, they developed their software in relative obscurity until they jumped up to 23 employees in 2006. In June 2008 good works were rewarded with $2.75 million in Series A funding, followed by Series B and another $6.5 million in early 2009. March 2010 saw another $2.5 million in venture funding, helping to fuel an estimated $22 million in annual revenue and close to 300 employees.

Arena

Photo courtesy: Arena

Formerly Pegged Software, Arena began as an idea in 1995 by founder Michael Rosenbaum on how the inefficiencies of the labor market could be disrupted. Using data analysis to predict a candidate’s performance, Arena’s software works to correct a host of labor acquisition and management issues like turnover. They focus on healthcare, and area that can certainly use more labor improvements.

Arena was officially founded in 2009, but Catalyst DevWorks was started in 2001 and provides the foundation for Arena. Attention was paid with a Series B funding round of $7.5 million in January 2015.

Traitify

Photo courtesy: Traitify

Managing people, a problem since the first boss/employee relationship in history, remains resistant to improvement. If Traitify reaches their goals, however, discovering the real personalities and types of employees quickly and easily will help companies smooth out employee bumps and HR mistakes and confusion. Understood employees are productive employees.

Filled with a mix of psychologists and programmers, Traitify started in 2011 with $125k in seed money that June. Within a year, almost a million more in angel investing testified their approach had enormous potential. A big part of their total $10.1 million funding came in June of 2014 with a $4 million check for Series A funding.

James Gaskin

James writes books, articles, and jokes about technology, and consults for those who don’t read his books and articles.
















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