Maryland Venture Fund and TEDCO’s Seed Fund Hire New Business Development Associate

The Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) and TEDCO Seed Fund today announced that Bill Collier has joined their team as a Business Development Associate. Bill’s addition to the team supports the funds’ focus on finding entrepreneurs that build great companies in the region.

“Bill will play an important role in seeking opportunities and stewarding the resources needed to help entrepreneurs bring new concepts to market,” said Andy Jones, managing director of MVF. “His experience and passion align with our goals, and we are confident that he will help us find entrepreneurs with exciting ideas to invest in.”

As a lifelong resident of the D.C. Metro Area, Bill is passionate about bringing the region’s innovative concepts to market. Prior to joining MVF, Bill worked at GE Digital in the Accelerated Leadership Program—GE’s premiere leadership development and training program. In his most recent role, he helped build the processes and technology stack for the global customer success organization. He currently serves as an advisory board member for Maryland-founded startup, Grey Matter USA, and previously worked at the Chevy Chase-based startup, WeddingWire.

Bill earned his MBA, with a focus on Strategic Marketing and Finance, and his B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geography from George Washington University.

MVF is a sector and stage agnostic venture fund dedicated to growing the next generation of exceptional businesses in Maryland. With three pools of capital and $135 million in assets under management, MVF partners with entrepreneurs to build high-growth companies that last and thrive.

 


Xometry Announces Acquisition of MakeTime, Adds Additional $25MM in Funding to Fuel Growth

Xometry, the largest on-demand manufacturing platform, announced that it has acquired MakeTime, another leading on-demand manufacturing company. This acquisition brings together the country’s two top manufacturing network platforms. The combined company will operate under the Xometry brand name and have offices in Maryland and Kentucky.

The acquisition will allow Xometry to grow its national partner network of manufacturers from 1,100 to over 2,300 while gaining MakeTime’s enterprise product expertise and features including their Autodesk Fusion add-in and Shop Advantage program. Drura Parrish, MakeTime Founder and CEO, will join Xometry as Executive Vice President for Platform.

Foundry Group, one of MakeTime’s investors, will lead a new $25MM round of funding for the newly combined company. Almaz Capital, BMW i Ventures, GE Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Maryland Venture Fund will also contribute to the round.  Xometry has now raised a total to date of $63MM.

 

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Leading Caregiver Marketplace HomeCare.com Raises $11M to Accelerate Growth

HomeCare.com announced today it has closed a new $11m round led by 3TS Capital Partners, Blue Heron Capital, Maryland Venture Fund, and Private Access Network. With the largest base of mobile-enabled caregivers, HomeCare.com is the leading platform where consumers and health care providers go to find and hire experienced caregivers. The capital will be used to support the company’s rapid growth, expand geographically, and add new product offerings.

HomeCare.com is revolutionizing the home care market by identifying the highest quality caregivers, allowing families to tailor care for their exact needs, and providing unprecedented visibility and reporting into the care provided. Experienced caregivers choose HomeCare.com because the platform combines the flexibility of being self-employed with the ability for caregivers to choose opportunities that match their experience level, skills sets and schedule. The company’s products and mobile applications assist with the entire care process, including real-time visit alerts, automated time-tracking and digital payments.

In addition to helping families, HomeCare.com also provides caregiver services to some of the largest hospital systems, senior nursing facilities and assisted living corporations in the country.

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Personal Genome Diagnostics closes $75 million financing round

Personal Genome Diagnostics, a Baltimore-based cancer diagnostics company, has raised $75 million to expand access to genomic testing for cancer patients.

The Series B financing round was led by pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb and existing investor New Enterprise Associates with contributions from Inova Strategic Investments, Co-win Healthcare Fund, Helsinn Investment Fund, Windham Venture Partners and the Maryland Venture Fund.

Douglas Ward, CEO of Personal Genome Diagnostics, or PGDx, described the new funding and test development as an “important next step in our effort to empower the fight against cancer.”

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Baltimore-based Harpoon Medical acquired for $100 million

Harpoon Medical, a Baltimore-based medical device company, has been acquired by Edwards Lifesciences Corp. for $100 million.

Under the deal, Harpoon, which is developing a device for minimally invasive heart surgery, will become part of California-based Edwards while retaining its West Camden Street offices. All 18 of Harpoon’s employees are joining Edwards.

The acquisition, which closed Dec. 1, stems from a structured financing agreement Harpoon struck with Edwards in 2015. In that deal, Edwards made an investment of undisclosed value in Harpoon’s research and development efforts in exchange for the option to acquire the company after completion of key clinical trials in Europe.

Harpoon’s device is a less invasive alternative for mitral valve repair, designed to shorten the duration of the procedure and recovery period.

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Aledade raises $23 million in new funding round

Aledade, a health technology startup that works with doctors to analyze patient data and coordinate care, has raised $23 million in a new funding round, according to a securities filing. It’s part of a $28 million offering. Venrock, Biomatics Capital and other existing investors were part of the latest round.

Why it matters: Farzad Mostashari, the former top health care technology official in the Obama administration, co-founded Aledade in 2014 and has raised $97.5 million to date. The company clearly has attracted interest from doctors who want to create so-called accountable care organizations and structure new payment contracts with Medicare and private health insurers.

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Maryland Venture Fund Announces Successful Raise of its New Fund with $25 Million of Committed Capital

Columbia, MD – The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), through its Maryland Venture Fund (MVF) program, today announced the closing of the Maryland Innovation Opportunity Fund I with $25 million of committed capital. The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System is the sole investor for this fund.

The fund will target new investments led by pioneering entrepreneurs building innovative technology, healthcare and life science companies in Maryland. The fund is sector and stage agnostic.

“We appreciate the Pension System’s trust and confidence in our team,” said George Davis, CEO of TEDCO. “We are committed to delivering both outstanding returns to the Pension System as well as growing the economy in Maryland through the success of our portfolio companies.”

“This new fund is an important milestone in the turnaround and re-invention of the Maryland Venture Fund,” said Andy Jones, Managing Director of the Fund. “We have built a new team of experienced operators and investors. Now the job in front of us is to deliver top-quartile returns to the Pension System and in the process, build the next generation of great businesses in the State of Maryland.”

In 2017, MVF invested in Optoro, Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx), Graybug Vision, and StayNTouch. In addition, MVF is pleased to launch its Operating Partner Network. The Operating Partner Network is comprised of a highly selective group of seasoned executives with expertise in strategy, technology, finance, sales and marketing. MVF portfolio companies will now benefit from the experience of executives in the Operating Partner Network.


Optoro Is Building A Billion-Dollar Business Helping Companies Cope With A Glut Of Rejected Stuff

In Optoro’s 300,000-square-foot warehouse outside Nashville on a stiflingly hot afternoon in late August, Susan Cohan scans the bar code on a cardboard box holding 97 pink crocheted bikinis. The tops were priced at $27.99 and the bottoms at $19.99 at one of America’s best-known big-box retailers. But the suits had failed to sell. Optoro’s software tells Cohan to route the box to Bulq.com, a website run by Optoro that sells in bulk to mom-and-pop dollar outlets and online discount stores. The bikinis will fetch 20% of retail, says Tobin Moore, Optoro’s 35-year-old cofounder and CEO. “People aren’t going to be buying bikinis in September,” he notes.

Those bathing suits and the 50,000 other boxes of returned and rejected stuff sitting in Optoro’s warehouse represent a pounding headache for retailers and manufacturers. Of the $3.3 trillion Americans spent on merchandise in 2015, they returned 8%, or $260 billion worth, according to the National Retail Federation’s most recent figures. That doesn’t count items, like the pink bikinis, that never leave store shelves.

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Aledade and Founder Farzad Mostashari Featured in NYT

Winfield, Kan. – If you watched the drama in Washington last month, you may have come away with the impression that the American health care system is a hopeless mess.

In Congress, a doomed plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health care law, has turned into a precarious effort to rescue it. Meanwhile, President Trump is still threatening to mortally wound the law — which he insists, falsely, is collapsing anyway — while his administration is undermining its being carried out.

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