Each day, DC Inno highlights the moves companies are making—from mergers and acquisitions to shutdowns—in our daily newsletter, The Beat. Trust us, though, we know how difficult it is to keep up. Each quarter we round up “The Departed,” or startups that have left the D.C. metro area, been acquired or merged or even shut down. Here’s what happened in the second quarter of 2017:
- Bridj D.C. Operations: Boston startup Bridj, which operated in the D.C. metro area, shutdown on May 1 after a deal with a major car dealer went through, sister site BostInno reported. Bridj offered shuttle rides in D.C. that allows riders to schedule rides and get picked up in a Wi-Fi enabled shuttle. In a letter on its site, Bridj CEO and founder Matt George said, “This is sad and frustrating for all of us, but I firmly believe that letting pride and hope continue to push us forward in this situation would create an unacceptable level of risk for employees, investors, and customers.”
The Merged and Acquired
- nvite: D.C.-based event tech startup nvite has been acquired by San Francisco’s Eventbrite. Nvite CEO Martin Ringlein confirmed on March 31. The relatively small nvite is one of many event tech startups that have found a home in the D.C. metro area in recent years. Marty Ringlein’s company came on the scene around 2013, and the software is used by a number of DC Tech members to host and share their events. Nvite raised a $1 million seed round in 2014 led by Paul Singh’s Crystal Tech Fund.
- Parking Panda: Baltimore’s Parking Panda was acquired by Chicago’s SpotHero on April 13. Parking Panda had raised $4.73 million and established over 800 event partnerships, including deals with several NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA teams. The acquisition beefs up SpotHero’s East Coast presence (and also Canadian presence, if you’re into that). Of note, SpotHero has recently been more consumer-focused, working to connect drivers to open parking spots in garages and off-street parking.
- EverFi: D.C. edtech company EverFi has acquired Austin-based Workplace Answers, an online compliance training developer for an undisclosed amount, according to a press release on April 21. The acquisition includes Workplace Answers’ Campus Answers brand, which provided online faculty and staff training on campus issues like sexual harassment prevention training. The now combined companies will serve over 1,700 campuses. Prior to being acquired, Workplace Answers raised venture funding from the likes of RHV Capital and The Operand Group.
- 2U: 2U, the publicly-traded Lanham, Md.-based education technology company, has acquired Cape Town, South Africa-based online education startup GetSmarter for $103 million, according to a press release on May 2. GetSmarter offers online short courses (not to be confused with MOOCs) to working professionals in partnership with institutions like the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and HarvardX. Since its inception, the startup has served more than 50,000 students, with 88 percent of them completing the courses.
- Distil Networks: Distil Networks acquired Detroit-based Are You A Human, a startup focused on analyzing and understanding how humans interact with the Internet, according to a company press release on May 18. Let me break it down: Are You A Human analyzes real-time interaction data, such as how your mouse moves, what your scroll patterns look like, combined with longitudinal data and fingerprinting metric to determine if your website’s visitors are humans or bots. With the acquisition, Distil plans to integrate the startup’s real-time human detection technology and interaction dataset into the Distil Bot Defense Platform.
- Deloitte: Deloitte made a strong move for its federal contracting arm on June 6. The company announced they have acquired Austin, Tx.-based innoWake, which brings the ability to translate software code, data and applications to Deloitte. InnoWake is being folded into Deloitte’s Application Modernization service, according to a press release. InnoWake’s software is particularly helpful for Deloitte’s federal contracting arm. The federal government currently relies on COBOL-based technology (i.e., “common business-oriented language”) for most of its HR functions. However, no one really teaches COBOL anymore, with about 50 percent of all COBOL-certified workers being over the age of 50. InnoWake is designed to translate COBOL into a new, more commonly known language—thus, now, giving Deloitte an advantage in its further endeavor.
- Split: Remember ride-sharing company Split? The company used to offer low-cost rides inside D.C. before shutting down its operations in September and made the transition to being a transportation-related software company. Now, as reported in The Washington Post on June 2, the company has sold to Volkswagen Group-affiliated transportation software company MOIA. MOIA, for those who don’t know, is looking to revolutionize ride-sharing, commuting and how people travel. “This is an incredibly exciting day for us, as it represents a road forward for us with a fantastic partner who shares our ambitions to make cities better by providing cutting-edge transportation solutions,” Split CEO Ario Keshani said in a Medium post. “The Split team will be working as part of MOIA in the coming years to continue innovating and pushing the envelope on the future of transportation.”
- EZShield: Private-equity firm The Wicks Group of Companies acquired Forest Hill, Md. identify theft protection company EZShield from EdgeStone Capital Partners on April 5. The New York-based Wicks Group invests in middle-to-late stage information, education and media companies.
Other Moves of Note
- RBMedia: A new audio media company has arrived in the Maryland tech scene. Landover, Md.-based RBmedia officially launched on April 11 and announced its acquisition of Audiobooks.com. RBmedia isn’t just any audio media company—it’s aiming to be the audio media company. Part audio distributor, part audio publisher, RBmedia both distributes its libraries to multiple apps and creates its own content.
Did we miss anything? Hit me up at email@example.com.