Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for October 7, 2021: SpaceLink expands HQ; ID.me, ScienceLogic, Somatus make high-value area startup list

SpaceLink expands HQ: Gov. Ralph Northam today announced SpaceLink is expanding in Fairfax County. The expansion will allow the company to develop and deploy a communications superhighway for the space economy. SpaceLink currently employs 10 in Virginia, and will create 41 new jobs with this expansion. The company established its headquarters at 8260 Greensboro Drive in Tysons this year and has offices in Silicon Valley. “Fairfax County is a natural choice for SpaceLink because of its proximity to so many of our customers, partners, and advisors,” said David Bettinger, chief executive officer at SpaceLink. “As an innovative space company, we also have the opportunity to draw from the rich pool of talented technology and business professionals who are drawn to the region for its opportunities and dynamic environment.” Read more by clicking on the FCEDA release.

Chart toppers: Tysons-based ID.me, with its most recent valuation at $1.57 billion, ranked first in the Washington Business Journal’s list of the D.C. region’s 15 highest-valued startups. Two more Fairfax County-based companies placed on the list: Reston-based ScienceLogic, most recently valued at $770 million, placed at no. 9; and Tysons-based Somatus, most recently valued at $570.1 million, ranked as no. 14 on the list. According to the publication, the valuation rankings were based on data from venture analytics firm PitchBook.

September to remember: And speaking of funding, here are the Fairfax County-based companies that raised most new money in September, according to the Washington Business Journal: Tysons identity security company ID.me with $100 million in debt financing; Fairfax restaurant management startup MarginEdge raised $18 million; and Tysons barbershop-booking platform theCut made the cut by raising $4.5 million last month. In addition, September also brought some noteworthy activity on the investor side: Tyson-based Aldrich Capital Partners closed its second fund at $450 million.

Play ball: A new tech company opened for business in Tysons this week. LevelFields, an analytics startup for self-directed investors, launched with a tech product that screens public company reports, federal filings, social media and news. The goal is to help equity investors predict the stock’s next activity based on what is going on around the company. DC Inno picked up the release.

This is a big deal: Herndon-based Peraton won a $2.69 billion (yep, with a b) contract to help the Department of Homeland Security manage a hybrid computing environment consisting of a data center, colocation facilities and cloud services. The contract was officially offered to Perspecta, which Veritas Capital acquired in May and integrated into the private equity firm’s portfolio company Peraton, GovConWire reported.

Keeping it close: Peraton, after a year of acquisitions, sold its systems engineering, integration and support services business, the company announced. While terms were not disclosed, the business isn’t going far, organizationally speaking. The buyer is CTFV Acquisition, a portfolio company of Veritas Capital’s Vantage Fund. Veritas is also Peraton’s private-equity parent. The Washington Business Journal has more.

A better view: Maxar Technologies, which maintains Chantilly and Herndon locations, is investing $600 million in the development of a constellation of Worldview Legion imaging satellites as the National Reconnaissance Office prepares to launch a competition for commercial satellite imagery products in the next few months, SpaceNews reported. According to Maxar, WorldView Legion will leverage innovative technology to yield the highest-quality commercially available satellite imagery. In June, NRO released a draft request for proposals for procurement program. ExecutiveBiz has more.

A larger ARRAY of services: Canada-based CGI’s Fairfax-based CGI Federal subsidiary acquired Greenbelt, Md.-based ARRAY, which has an office in Fairfax. Digital services provider ARRAY works with customers in the Defense Department and federal government, and this purchase expands CGI Federal’s footprint into the Air Force and Space Command markets. “ARRAY has made significant contributions to the missions of U.S. government organizations,” said CGI Federal President Stephanie Mango. “This transaction is consistent with CGI’s ‘Build and Buy’ strategy and will expand CGI’s reach into strategic public sector markets.” The merger will bring 275 ARRAY professionals to CGI, WashingtonExec reported.

Building bridges: Herndon-based hyperspectral analytics company HySpecIQ and Denver-based optical communications specialist BridgeComm agreed to integrate BridgeComm high-speed optical downlinks with HySpecIQ satellites destined for low Earth orbit, SpaceNews reported. “We are eager to extend our satellite constellation program and hyperspectral imagery capabilities with BridgeComm’s integration,” said Bill Sullivan, HySpecIQ executive chairman and founder.

Reaching across the pond: Reston-based ScienceLogic acquired British IT company Restorepoint, a move that expands the local company’s portfolio. The local software company offers products that enable customers to monitor applications and systems across their networks. DC Inno picked up the release.

What did you say? Qualtrics, the Utah-based developer of an experience-management platform, completed its $1.1 billion acquisition of Reston-based Clarabridge, creator of an AI-powered platform designed to let companies capture and analyze customer feedback. Clients such as GM, Farmers, United Airlines, USAA, Bank of America, Expedia and UnitedHealthcare use Clarabridge’s conversational-analytics capabilities to analyze massive volumes of indirect customer feedback. Qualtrics said the acquisition will allow it to analyze and act on everything customers and employees are saying, whether on social media, emails, support calls, chats or product reviews. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Bolder and faster: McLean-based global food and pet products manufacturer Mars pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across all its business operations by 2050, Virginia Business reported. The pledge is in line with the Paris Agreement to reduce global warming. “The scale of global intervention must be bolder and faster,” Mars CEO Grant F. Reid said. “Climate change is already impacting the planet and people’s lives.” The Mars announcement marks a step up from an existing commitment it made in 2009 to achieve net-zero emissions in direct operations by 2040.

Blending together: Tysons-based Artlin Consulting, a provider of management consulting and data analytics services to the federal government, merged with Arlington-based counterpart Sehlke Consulting to form Aeyon. Sehlke focused on software and tech-enabled services used to automate financial management, logistics and supply chains, as well as business systems. Now, Tysons-based Aeyon, a portfolio company of Chevy Chase, Md.-based Enlightenment Capital, will deliver specialized capabilities and tailored products through nearly 450 employees. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

More expanded criteria: Tysons-based Criterion Systems, a provider of cybersecurity and IT services, acquired Colorado-based SAGE Black Consulting and Contracting, a provider of software engineering services to the government, with a growing presence in artificial intelligence and machine learning. SAGE Black will operate as a unit of Criterion as part of its Intelligence Solutions business. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Tech skills training: A new tech skill program, facilitated by Arlington-based Marymount University, corporate partners and Virginia state funding, will launch in spring 2022 to bridge the gap between tech company job openings and candidates from low-income backgrounds. The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board will invest $425,000 into the Tech Set program, designed as a two-month tech skills and career preparation workshop for junior and senior college students based in Northern Virginia, reported the Washington Business Journal.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Leidos received a five-year, $300 million contract from the National Security Agency to support its Technical Signals Intelligence mission through development and modernization initiatives. Intelligence Community News

General Dynamics Mission Systems won a five-year, $275.6 million contract from the Navy for the design, development and testing of a maritime mine-deployment system. GovConWire

Salient CRGT won a five-year, $207 million contract to design, maintain and modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs’ network security and network transportation services. Virginia Business

Parsons won a $145 million contract from the Army Corps of Engineers to provide design-build services to a waste treatment facility construction project at Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia. GovConWire

CGI Federal received a five-year, $100 million contract to help the Defense Intelligence Agency modernize a technology environment for processing data. ExecutiveBiz

Northrop Grumman received a $68.13 million contract from the Army to modify its existing contract for services supporting the military’s capstone combat training center. ExecutiveBiz

General Dynamics Information Technology secured a $50 million contract for information technology services in support of the Environmental Protection Agency‘s execution of Energy Star, a government-led energy efficiency program. ExecutiveBiz

ICF received a four-year, $31 million recompete contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide development, maintenance and operations support to CDC’s BioSense syndromic surveillance platform. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

October 13 — Today’s Cybersecurity – 5 Simple, No-cost Actions to Protect Your Business. Part of the Business Education Series sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, this Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce virtual event features speaker Dereck March, associate at LegalShield/IDShield. Click here to register.

October 19-20 — Accelerate 2022. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Accelerate 2022 is an investor conference and startup business competition that showcases Northern Virginia as a powerhouse for innovation and business opportunity. Click here to register.

October 19 — 2021 State of Economic Growth. The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce presents its annual State of Economic Growth, hosted by Stephen Moret, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and the leaders of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, including Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Click here to register.

October 27-29 —  TiE DC’s 4th Annual Capital GovCon 2021. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, this event which brings together over 300 small business owners and professionals and features government and industry leaders making significant digital transformation efforts across their respective agencies.  Click here to register.

November 4 — Veteran & Military Family Career Day. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Fort Belvoir, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, this event will be held at the National Museum of the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.