7 months later, what have DC’s RealLIST 2022 startups achieved this year?


At the risk of sounding like a grocery store tabloid with a “Where are they now?” story, it’s both fun and informative to follow how someone or something (in this case, a booming business) changes over time.

In January, we compiled our annual list of startups to watch, called RealLIST Startups. These startups represented what we considered the crème de la crème of new (rather) DC tech companies. Eligible companies had to be less than three years old, generate their revenue from a specific product and not have experienced any sort of exit, merger or acquisition. The resulting winners have worked in fields as diverse as edtech, govtech, app development and funding.

Where are they now, nearly seven months after we deemed them startups to watch? We asked the question, and many answered. Here’s a compilation of their responses, along with updates on featured companies that didn’t return our requests for comment.

(Left to right) Soraya Bagheri and Naeim Khanjani, co-founders of Electo Analytics. (Courtesy photos, graphic by Technical.ly)

The founders of Electro Naeim Khanjani and Soraya Bagheri gave no news of the company at our request. But, from what we can tell, the company has been working hard to organize and partner with different regional events that support govtech, social impact, and the DC tech ecosystem. In June, the company was presented as a partner in Select United States annual Investment Summit.

The McLean, Va.-based startup has created an AI-powered app to virtually diagnose skin conditions with, according to Derm to Door, 98% accuracy. After a beta launch in the DC market, the app’s reach has expanded to offer teledermatology in 33 US states.

The company’s founder said it also has big plans for the fall, though we don’t know the details yet.

“We have an exciting national HUUUUUGE partnership in the works, however, I cannot release the information until it is finalized,” the founder said. Lily Talakoub Told Technically in an email.

Since listing, DC’s Meaningful Gigs closed a $6 million seed funding round in March led by Stage 2 Capital. Rethink education, Authentic companies, Reach the capital, blow marla, Avi tape and Michele Perry also participated.

The founders said they want to use the funds to add even more designers to its platform, which connects designers and product developers from Africa with American companies looking for workers. It also hoped to bring 100 companies onto the platform this year.

“When you develop [the applicant pool]you literally have the whole world that you can think of as [talent] opportunities to bring”, co-founder and COO Steph Nachemja-Bunton Told Technically earlier this year. “Then you have this ability to start thinking differently and more creatively, bringing in people with different perspectives, different skill sets, and even making sure they have the skill level that you’re looking for.”

Several DC-area founders pose in white and green shirts and blue and orange attire

Allison Cavasino (second from left) and Natalie Poston (far left) are the founders of Joylet. (Photo via @DCStartupWeek on Twitter)

Baby gear rental startup JoyLet has made some huge changes since appearing on this list. Founders Allison Cavasino and Nathalie Poston both quit their other jobs to work full-time on the startup. The company also won Georgetown GEA Alumni Pitch Competitionclosed a $250.00 pre-seed angel investment and partnered with key infant and toddler equipment suppliers, according to Poston.

If that wasn’t enough, Poston also said the company plans to make a big announcement before the end of 2022.

“JoyLet has had an exciting start to the year and is looking forward to even bigger things in the months to come,” said the co-founder.

We haven’t heard back from the founders Adrian Abrams and Kamar Mac, which created a no-code platform for app development. But, around the time the startup was selected as the winner of Fiverr’s Future Collective for Black-Owned Businesseshe won a placement in a 1863 Companies-hosted accelerator that probably started.

According to the founder of Urvin Finance Alex Cohenthe company has been very busy since our last check-in. The company has completed its initial raise for its flagship product, The terminal, and rose to seed crowd-equity turn, seeking $5 million to launch the platform. He has already raised around $340,000 from just over 470 people on his WeFunder to place.

Urvin Finance launched the alpha version of its product to more than 500 users, along with site features that facilitate investment knowledge Lyrical learning and We the investors.

Along with this increase, Cohen said Urvin has 10,000 users on its beta waitlist, with plans to launch the beta in early fall before officially going live in early winter.

A photo of Afua

Afua “BB” Banful, CEO of Aneta Ed. (Courtesy photo)

Aneta ED had a rocky start to 2022, as a large part of its development team is based in Ukraine. When the conflict erupted earlier this year, the local founder Afua Banful had to find the best way to help his team around the world.

Since then, the company has experienced some growth. He participated in the Launch of Founders University workshop, as well as a Jobs for the Future Career Navigation cohort in the JFF Laboratories accelerator.

Although Laudable doesn’t appear to have taken any public action in 2022, he continued his hiring streak throughout the year. It’s currently in private beta for Laudable 2.0, the next iteration of its B2B marketing platform.

The company has also had some success in B2B ICT Tacgenerating almost 12,000 likes in total.


#duo with @kadynsmithsmith Samantha has high standards and she has her original notes #b2btiktok #project management #b2bcontent #customersuccess #customersuccessiktok

♬ original sound – Kadyn

Hotglue has added some updates to its software, like widgets and a Google Sheets integration, since the creation of RealLIST. The company has also received SOC 2 Type II certification, and a company statement says it will continue to receive assessment reports as part of its cyber journey. The company also has 11 employees, spread all over the world.

Our top pick for this year has maintained an upward trend over the past few months. He’s landed deals for his software, which helps brands build peer-to-peer trade and trade-in sites, with the likes of KILLSTAR and Badgley Mischka In May, the company raised a $14 million Series A led by Skip the capitalwith an additional contribution of Gradient Ventures, XRC Laboratories and Capital of Victory. With the funds, the founders Adam Siegel and Wilson Griffin said they would expand the team to add things like digital IDs, NFTs, and new software suite features.

“We have already deployed integrations with e-commerce platforms, loyalty programs, fulfillment/logistics providers and digital ID technologies,” Siegel said in a statement at the time. “With this investment, we are excited to bring even more innovative solutions to brands so they can benefit from the explosion in resale interest.”

Finally, here’s how some of our honorable mentions are doing, in no particular order:

  • RegScale, a compliance technology company based in Tysons Corner, Va., has raised more in 2022 (so far) than any other entity on this list. Earlier this month, RegScale raised $20 million in a Series A led by SYN Ventures.
  • Halen Technologiesa “super app” company founded by Edward Mbechelanded $1 million from a technology partner Kiwi Tech. Mbeche told Technical.ly that the company also earned $100,000 from Google for startups’ cloud startup program, added 11 developers from another technology partner Quiddity Infotech and created his Downloadable MVP.
  • Over the past six months, the hydrogen technology startup Allied power presented in Egypt for possible inclusion in COP27 and in front of a Saudi delegation at DC’s Willard Hotel. Founder Joseph Alfred also said that the company is working on several partnerships with established contacts in the aforementioned countries, as well as the development of hydrogen and carbon capture centers in the United States.
Companies: Ally Power, The Opus, Halen Technologies, RegScale, Electo Analytics, Derm to Door, Meaningful Gigs, Joylet, AppDrop, Urvin Finance, Praiseworthy, hotglue, Recurate, Aneta Ed



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