These Washington, D.C., Tech Companies Achieved Unicorn Status in 2021
Washington, D.C., continues to grow its reputation as an up-and-coming tech hub. With its proximity to the government’s biggest federal departments, it’s no wonder so many tech companies in cybersecurity, govtech, healthtech and information technology have chosen to headquarter in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) region. As the hub grows, so too does the valuation of local startups.
2021 has been a big year for startups in the D.C. metro area, with seven tech companies reaching $1 billion in valuation — also known as achieving unicorn status for how rare this kind of valuation is for private companies. This is particularly impressive considering prior to 2021, the tech hub only had two other unicorns to speak of.
Living Social, which has since been acquired by Groupon, became the first to join the D.C. tech unicorn club in December of 2010. For 10 lonely years, it was the sole D.C. tech company with a valuation of $1 billion or more, according to Crunchbase. In December of 2020, Fluence Energy Inc. became a unicorn after raising $125 million. Now, however, the D.C. tech community is experiencing a huge amount of growth.
To keep track of the growing number of companies hitting unicorn status in the D.C. Metro area, Built In created a running list. This list will be updated as DMV companies continue to grow and join this exclusive club.
$2.1B Valuation as of January
Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Aledade is a primary care physician platform helping healthcare professionals create and run accountable care organizations (ACOs). Through its networks, Aledade empowers physicians to keep their independence, thrive financially and focus on what really matters — patient health. The platform uses data analytics, user-friendly guided workflows, integrated data, comprehensive insight and other world-class support and technology to help healthcare professionals save money and provide better care. Aledade was the first tech company to hit unicorn status in D.C. this year after raising $100 million in Series D funding, according to Fierce Healthcare.
$1.5B Valuation as of March
Based in McLean, Virginia, ID.me is a digital identity network focused on simplifying how users securely verify and share their identity online. The company provides best-in-class identity verification and authentication products for the public and private sectors. The ID.me network has more than 60 million members and is growing, adding over 157,000 new subscribers each day, according to the company. It prides itself on a “no identity left behind” commitment, which ensures people without credit history or public records are still able to access secure and compliant identity verification. ID.me hit its unicorn valuation after raising $100 million in Series C funding from Viking Global Investors, according to SiliconANGLE.
$1.4B Valuation as of May
Focused on connecting people and organizations to government entities, FiscalNote is an information services company that uses AI, expert analysis, and legislative, regulatory and geopolitical data to deliver actionable intelligence to customers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The information hub offers 20 different products that provide information in policy monitoring, U.S. news, advocacy, constituent services and more. In addition to joining the unicorn club this year, FiscalNote closed several acquisitions, including Forge.AI, Curate, Predata, Equilibrium, Board.org, Fireside, TimeBase, Oxford Analytica and FactSquared. In May, the company raised $40 million and with a valuation of $1.4 billion is considering going public, according to Bloomberg.
$1.01B Valuation as of June
Founded in 2014, Morning Consult uses its data collection technology platform to deliver daily intelligence aimed at helping global company leaders make more informed decisions about their business. Morning Consult focus on four major pillars of intelligence: brands, economic, political and research. Within those pillars, the platform allows global executives to search, analyze and share more than seven trillion unique data points. It feature a variety of cutting-edge applied technology from machine learning to natural language processing. Morning Consult hit its unicorn valuation in June after raising a $60 million Series B round, according to Technical.ly DC.
$1B Valuation as of July
Interos is reinventing supply-chain management with its AI-backed SaaS platform. Its software is able to “model and transform the ecosystems of complex businesses into a living global map, down to any single supplier, anywhere,” according to the company’s website. Interos made local news this year when it became Arlington’s first unicorn after raising a $100 million funding round, according to ARLnow. It is also one of the rare unicorns that are woman-led (only 4 percent), a statistic Fortune said makes these female founders more rare than female Fortune 500 CEOs.
$1.15B Valuation as of September
Based in D.C. but with customers both in the U.S. and U.K., Rebellion Defense is a national security tech company using the power of AI for military defense. The company offers three main products: comprehensive battlespace awareness, autonomous mission execution and cyber readiness. With Rebellion Defence, military officials are empowered by data on adversaries and threat environments to make better operational decisions. In September, the company raised more than $150 million in Series B funding, bringing its valuation to $1.15 billion, according to Nextgov.
$1.7B Valuation as of October
Dragos is focused on industrial cyber threats or those that target industries that power our basic utilities as well as manufacturing, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and other industries that use industrial controls systems (ICS). The Dragos platform offers asset visibility, vulnerability management, threat detection, collective defense and investigation capabilities all in one easy-to-navigate portal. In October, the company raised $200 million in Series D funding and brought its valuation to $1.7 billion.