The Download: Local upstarts collect checks from investors

District-based Personal continues to collect money from investors as the company presses forward with its mission to give people control of their personal information on the Internet.

The company has raised a total of $8.2 million since March 2012, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, a sum that Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel Joshua Galper described as a bridge between the company’s first round of funding and a second round it expects to raise later this year.

The money will be used for product development, he said.

Personal aims to give people control over the personal data that companies track to sell them products and services — everything from the individual’s gender and address to food and lifestyle preferences.

The company recently debuted a new product, an application called Fill It that automatically populates online forms with the user’s information, such as shipping and billing information for online retailers.

“We’re looking forward to announcing a number of additional partnerships involving personal data vaults and handing back information that is traditionally controlled by companies to their customers,” Galper said.

Personal counts 40 employees in Georgetown and Europe, Galper said.

Million-dollary baby

District-based Contactually, an upstart whose service reminds you to connect with key contacts in your address book, raised $1 million from early stage investors last week. The firm plans to add sales and development staff as a result.

Contactually was co-founded in 2011 by local tech enthusiasts Zvi Band, Tony Cappaert and Jeff Carbonella. The company’s software tracks how often a user interacts with their contacts via e-mail and social media, then suggests when it’s time to send them a note.

“Contactually ensures that your most important relationships never slip through the cracks, and that you consistently stay top-of-mind and relevant with your most important contacts,” the company said in a statement.

Venture capital firms Point Nine Capital and Boston Seed Capital lead the round with participation from existing investors, such as 500 Startups, and previous angel investors, the company said.

Paid parking

Parking Panda, the Baltimore-based appmaker that helps motorists locate parking spots in major cities, got a boost to its bank account last week, adding nearly $4.8 million from investors, according to a regulatory filing.

Several locations in the Washington region use Parking Panda to help smartphone users find a place to park, sometimes before they even leave the house. Among the local venues are the Verizon Center, National Zoo, Arena Stage and Nationals Park.

The company also has a partnership with Parking Management Inc., which operates 110 parking garages in the District, Maryland and Virginia, that allows drivers to find and reserve parking at some of its facilities.

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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