10 Top D.C. Startups to Watch in 2024

The capital building in Washington D C.

Washington D.C. has become a hub for innovative startups across many industries. From pop-up hotels and government tech to salad restaurants and clean energy, entrepreneurs are flocking to the nation’s capital to launch their ventures. In this article, we highlight the top D.C. startups to watch that are making waves.

Best Startups in Washington D.C.

Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation, tech, and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up the most exciting D.C. startups of 2024 that startup lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow. 

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order. 

1. Virtru

  • Industry: Cybersecurity
  • Founders: John Ackerly, Will Ackerly
  • Founded In: 2012
  • Funding: $139.8 Million
  • Investors Include: Tiger Global Management, Foundry Capital

With more than 20,000 organizations on its platform, Virtru is a fast-growing cybersecurity startup responsible for the creation of TDF (Trusted Data Format). Not only does Virtru help organizations protect their data, it also allows them to easily analyze and share without worrying about security breaches. 

2. Arcadia

  • Industry: Cleantech
  • Founders: Kiran Bhatraju, Ryan Nesbitt
  • Founded In: 2014
  • Funding: $495.5 Million
  • Investors Include: Green Investment Group, Magnetar Capital

Arcadia is a cleantech startup on a mission to democratize clean energy through accessible data and renewable energy sources available on its platform, Arc. On the platform, users have access to data from over 125 utilities across the US. Plus, the startup runs the United States’ leading community solar program, increasing access to solar energy for a larger percentage of the population.

3. Sweetgreen

  • Industry: Food & Beverage
  • Founders: Jonathan Neman, Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet
  • Founded In: 2007
  • Funding: $479.3 Million
  • Investors Include: Lone Pine Capital, D1 Capital Partners 

Since its inception in 2007, Sweetgreen has revolutionized the fast-casual dining industry to offer better-for-you alternatives. An exited unicorn startup, the company has expanded across the US as well as acquired robotics startup Spyce to further innovate the food and beverage industry. 

4. Securrency

  • Industry: Blockchain, Fintech
  • Founders: Dan Doney, John Hensel, Ron Poe
  • Founded In: 2015
  • Funding: $64.5 Million
  • Investors Include: WisdomTree, Boardman Bay Capital Management 

Securrency is a fintech startup that makes it easier for companies to issue and trade digital tokens that represent securities like stocks and bonds. They have software that works with different blockchain networks like Ethereum and Stellar, as well as traditional computer systems.

5. Hydrosat

  • Industry: AgTech, Artificial Intelligence (AI) 
  • Founders: Jakob Van Zyl, Pieter Fossel, Royce Dalby, Yunjin Kim
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: $35.6 Million
  • Investors Include: Cultivation Capital, Statkraft Ventures

Hydrosat is an agtech startup that uses satellite images to help the agriculture industry and beyond to improve processes by giving farmers more insights about their land and crops. These maps and reports help businesses, investors, and farmers understand how many crops will be grown in a region through crop production forecasting.

6. UrbanStems

  • Industry: Ecommerce
  • Founders: Ajay Kori, Chetan Shenoy, Jeff Sheely, Jereme Holiman, Scott Simpson
  • Founded In: 2014
  • Funding: $47.2 Million
  • Investors Include: Ketch Ventures, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Gaingels 

UrbanStems aims to disrupt the flower industry by providing high-quality bouquets at affordable prices with convenient delivery. Their direct farm sourcing and technology-driven supply chain allow them to bypass wholesalers and offer flowers cheaper than traditional florists.

7. Upside

  • Industry: Apps
  • Founders: Alex Kinnier, Jan Rubio, Joanna Kochaniak, Rick McPhee, Wayne Lin
  • Founded In: 2016
  • Funding: $165 Million
  • Investors Include: Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst 

Upside is a retail technology startup working with businesses and consumers to increase sales, lower costs, and build sustainability initiatives. On the app, consumers are able to claim cash-back offers with participating businesses to save money without adjusting their spending.

8. Class Technologies

  • Industry: Edtech
  • Founders: Michael Chasen
  • Founded In: 2020
  • Funding: $164 Million
  • Investors Include: Slow Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 

Class Technologies offers digital learning solutions, helping education thrive outside the traditional classroom. Used by over 1,500 institutions worldwide, Class Technologies has continuously innovated the remote learning sector to provide impactful education solutions over platforms like Zoom. 

9. Rebellion

  • Industry: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity
  • Founders: Chris Lynch, Nicole Camarillo, Oliver Lewis
  • Founded In: 2019
  • Funding: $150 Million
  • Investors Include: Shield Capital, Insight Partners 

Rebellion Defense is a cybersecurity company that provides AI-powered network protection and detection solutions. Their software uses machine learning to analyze network traffic and identify threats and vulnerabilities in real time.

10. Placemakr

  • Industry: Real Estate, Hospitality
  • Founders: Bao Vuong, Jason Fudin
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: $192.1 Million
  • Investors Include: Camber Creek, GOD Capital

Placemakr, also known as WhyHotel, is a hospitality platform operating temporary hotels in recently built apartment buildings. Their service combines the ease of a furnished rental with the luxury of hotel service.