Richmond startups 2022: Capital raises, new programming and expansions

Sizable capital raises captured the biggest headlines of the local startup scene in 2022, while there were also plenty of new companies launching, expanding and growing their programming during the year.

Capital raises

Fringe CEO and co-founder Jordan Peace in the company’s Scott’s Addition office. (Jack Jacobs photo)

Several locally based firms wrapped up or got underway on notable funding rounds in 2022.

TemperPack Technologies announced in early 2022 that it had closed on a $140 million raise, which was nearly twice what the packaging company founded in 2015 had raised through investors prior to that raise.

Phlow Corp. had raised $24.2 million as of early September on the way to a $50 million goal. The pharma company was founded by Frank Gupton and Eric Edwards in 2020, and is a player in the Alliance for Building Better Medicine, which is a regional effort by a collection of private and public entities to develop a hub of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Employee-perks marketplace Fringe as well as Qnovia, which is developing an inhaler-like nicotine replacement product, both closed on $17 million capital raises in 2022.

Naborforce, which offers Uber-like service that pairs seniors who want companionship or assistance with household tasks with contractors, announced a $9 million raise in August.

Tutoring company Pearl, formerly known as Trilogy Mentors, polished off a $4.8 million capital raise in 2022.

New entrepreneurship programs

From left, JWC Foundation founders Melody Short, Rasheeda Creighton and Kelli Lemon. (Photo courtesy of JWC Foundation)

People looking to grow their business idea have a handful of incubators, accelerators and other resources to turn to. In 2022, several of those business development groups experienced some growth of their own.

Local nonprofit JWC Foundation introduced a new accelerator program aimed at black entrepreneurs called the Community Business Academy. The nonprofit was established in 2022 by the founders of the business incubator Jackson Ward Collective, which like the Community Business Academy falls under the umbrella of the nonprofit.

Activation Capital, which supports entrepreneurship and startups in the region through its initiatives, launched in 2022 a pilot business development program aimed at minority tech entrepreneurs.

Bon Secours in the spring announced grant awards to several businesses in Manchester as part of its Supporting East End Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program. Extending funding support to businesses in Manchester was a first for the small-business grant program that was originally founded in 2011 to support Church Hill businesses.

Expansions and launches

Sara McGlothlin is the founder of Gratisfied. (Photo courtesy of Gratisfied)

Several young companies in the Richmond region expanded with new offerings or entered new markets during 2022.

Beauty products LipLoveLine entered a brick-and-mortar store for the first time amid a larger expansion into more online sellers.

Two startup food companies added to their product lines in 2022. Gratisfied introduced a baking mix version of its Empower snack bar. Kim Baker Foods added a lentil-based brownie to its lineup.

Kristin Richardson rolled out Sherah, a personal assistant service aimed at working moms, in September.

The year 2022 also saw the launch of two new healthcare companies: in-home care provider Synergy Healthcare (founded by Will Saunders) as well as Remission Medical, a telehealth operation focused on rheumatic conditions that was founded by Blake Wehman.

Absurd Snacks, a snack company founded by University of Richmond students, introduced its products to the marketplace in early 2022 after being developed as part of a college course.

Sizable capital raises captured the biggest headlines of the local startup scene in 2022, while there were also plenty of new companies launching, expanding and growing their programming during the year.

Capital raises

Fringe CEO and co-founder Jordan Peace in the company’s Scott’s Addition office. (Jack Jacobs photo)

Several locally based firms wrapped up or got underway on notable funding rounds in 2022.

TemperPack Technologies announced in early 2022 that it had closed on a $140 million raise, which was nearly twice what the packaging company founded in 2015 had raised through investors prior to that raise.

Phlow Corp. had raised $24.2 million as of early September on the way to a $50 million goal. The pharma company was founded by Frank Gupton and Eric Edwards in 2020, and is a player in the Alliance for Building Better Medicine, which is a regional effort by a collection of private and public entities to develop a hub of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Employee-perks marketplace Fringe as well as Qnovia, which is developing an inhaler-like nicotine replacement product, both closed on $17 million capital raises in 2022.

Naborforce, which offers Uber-like service that pairs seniors who want companionship or assistance with household tasks with contractors, announced a $9 million raise in August.

Tutoring company Pearl, formerly known as Trilogy Mentors, polished off a $4.8 million capital raise in 2022.

New entrepreneurship programs

From left, JWC Foundation founders Melody Short, Rasheeda Creighton and Kelli Lemon. (Photo courtesy of JWC Foundation)

People looking to grow their business idea have a handful of incubators, accelerators and other resources to turn to. In 2022, several of those business development groups experienced some growth of their own.

Local nonprofit JWC Foundation introduced a new accelerator program aimed at black entrepreneurs called the Community Business Academy. The nonprofit was established in 2022 by the founders of the business incubator Jackson Ward Collective, which like the Community Business Academy falls under the umbrella of the nonprofit.

Activation Capital, which supports entrepreneurship and startups in the region through its initiatives, launched in 2022 a pilot business development program aimed at minority tech entrepreneurs.

Bon Secours in the spring announced grant awards to several businesses in Manchester as part of its Supporting East End Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program. Extending funding support to businesses in Manchester was a first for the small-business grant program that was originally founded in 2011 to support Church Hill businesses.

Expansions and launches

Sara McGlothlin is the founder of Gratisfied. (Photo courtesy of Gratisfied)

Several young companies in the Richmond region expanded with new offerings or entered new markets during 2022.

Beauty products LipLoveLine entered a brick-and-mortar store for the first time amid a larger expansion into more online sellers.

Two startup food companies added to their product lines in 2022. Gratisfied introduced a baking mix version of its Empower snack bar. Kim Baker Foods added a lentil-based brownie to its lineup.

Kristin Richardson rolled out Sherah, a personal assistant service aimed at working moms, in September.

The year 2022 also saw the launch of two new healthcare companies: in-home care provider Synergy Healthcare (founded by Will Saunders) as well as Remission Medical, a telehealth operation focused on rheumatic conditions that was founded by Blake Wehman.

Absurd Snacks, a snack company founded by University of Richmond students, introduced its products to the marketplace in early 2022 after being developed as part of a college course.

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