Arlington risk management startup Interos Inc. just became Greater Washington’s latest unicorn with a whopping $100 million in fresh funding.

The Northern Virginia tech company clinched the capital in a Series C round led by San Francisco’s NightDragon, with participation from existing investors Kleiner Perkins of Menlo Park, California, and Venrock of Palo Alto, California, Interos said July 22.

With this backing, the local startup’s valuation exceeds $1 billion — and gives it the sought-after unicorn status that only a small number of private D.C.-area companies have secured.

That roster most recently added D.C. polling and data firm Morning Consult LLC, as well as fast-casual restaurant chain Cava Group Inc., media holding company Vox Media Inc., identity management startup ID.me Inc. and artificial intelligence services firm Afiniti.

Interos, led by founder and CEO Jennifer Bisceglie, is also now part of an even more elite group of women-led companies to surpass the $1 billion valuation mark; about 4% of unicorns have female founders and CEOs, according to Crunchbase.

Interos uses machine learning to develop complex databases of supplier relationships, to track companies’ supply chains and assess risk factors. Its software-as-a-service platform helps those customers manage their supply chains and business relationships. To that end, the company plans to use the $100 million to speed up its growth amid cyberattacks that threaten its customers and supply chain shortages resulting from the pandemic, it said in its announcement.

“This funding will allow us to accelerate our mission of helping organizations fix supply chain issues before they cause operational disruption,” Bisceglie said in a statement.

The raise follows a year of tremendous growth for the company, one of our Fire winners of 2020. Interos reported it grew revenue in 2020 by 104% from 2019 and ballooned its headcount by 132% during that time. The company previously raised $17.5 million in March 2020 to boost sales and expand its workforce, and has taken in more than $125 million to date, according to PitchBook, which pegs its current headcount at 205 employees.

Bisceglie started Interos in 2005. She has a deep background in supply chain management, including as CEO of North Carolina’s Quantum Leaps LLC, which aimed to build collaborative networks among women-led organizations, as well as CEO of McLean-based consulting firm Vigillence Inc. Bisceglie, one of the Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business in 2009, was also the longtime chair of Women Impacting Public Policy and was the director of federal programs at supply chain firm Manhattan Associates Inc.

The D.C. region has already been flush with funding lately, experiencing two record-setting quarters for venture capital. As the pandemic eases up and cash is flowing more freely, more local VC firms are raising funds — and it’s rippling to the ventures themselves in larger-than-usual rounds.

The latest to raise huge hauls include Gaithersburg biopharma Sirnaomics Inc. with $105 million, D.C. fintech startup MPower Financing with $100 million, Bethesda software startup Mytonomy Inc. with $25 million, D.C. health care company Somatus Inc. with $60 million, D.C. cannabis company Holistic Industries with $55 million, Rockville health-tech company DrFirst with $50 million and plenty more.

 

(As published by WBJ)