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Dual-Use Tech Roundup - DEF, Privoro, Kayhan Space, Apex.AI, Robust Intelligence, Ursa Major Technologies & Nozomi Networks
10 January 2022 - DEF Innovation Ecosystem Map, Privoro, Kayhan Space, Apex.AI, Robust Intelligence, Ursa Major Technologies & Nozomi Networks.
Defense Innovation Funding Ecosystem Map
National security and warfighting innovation has historically been conducted or funded by the federal government. However, the more recent emergence of dual-use companies have spurred this innovation in private markets that collaborate with the federal government. In 2013 the first Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) was launched which helped start a network of disruptive thinkers focused on defense. In 2015 the DEF became a non profit and it continues to connect entrepreneurs and encourage innovation. The DEF Innovation Ecosystem Map shows a visual representation of this network and how it connects entrepreneurs with federal government agencies.
This map shows the relationship of several entities like AFWERX, USAF, DoD, USMC…
Cybersecurity company Privoro has developed a hardware solution, in the form of a phone case, to prevent radio frequency hacking and location tracking. The company closed its $30 M Series B round on December 22nd, 2021. The round was led by Tracker Capital, but included other undisclosed investors. The funds will go towards expanding the company’s workforce and product lines, as well as tailoring its operations to meet demands for its mobile protection devices.
Kayhan Space: 🪐
Space is becoming increasingly crowded, and it is imperative for companies and nations to protect their satellites from debris. Kayhan Space has developed a collision avoidance software for lower orbit satellites. Additionally, the company provides solutions focused on satellite mission analysis and support. On December 16th, 2021 the company raised $4.38 M in their Seed Round of funding.The deal was led by Root Ventures and Initialized Capital Management. Prior to the close of the round the company participated in The Catalyst Accelerator which concluded in November of 2021. Co-founder Araz Feyzi has reaffirmed the company's focus on dual-use going forward.
Autonomous vehicles are becoming a reality in the private markets. Apex.AI has developed an operating system for autonomous vehicles. The system acts as a toolkit for companies to implement and utilize in their vehicles. The company raised $56.5 M in Series B funding on December 14th, 2021. Notable investors in the round include: Airbus Ventures, Toyota Ventures, and Volvo Group Venture Capital. ZF Friedrichshafen, one of the largest auto part manufacturers, bought a 5% stake in the company as well. The funds will be used to aid in the company’s expansion into the Asian markets and increase the company’s workforce.
Robust Intelligence: 🤖
An increasing number of companies are implementing artificial intelligence into their day-to-day operations. However, there can be bugs and setbacks when implementing these systems. Robust Intelligence has developed an operational risk platform that allows companies to test out and refine their artificial intelligence systems before implementing them. The company raised $30 M in Series B funding on December 9th, 2021. Tiger Global Management led the round with Sequoia Capital, Harpoon Ventures, and Engineering Capital also participating. The funds will be used for product development and engineering, as well as scaling the operation.
Ursa Major Technologies: 🚀
Ursa Major Technologies is a Colorado based rocket propulsion company. The company currently has two engine offerings: the Hadley and the Ripley. These engines run on liquid oxygen and kerosene. On December 7th, 2021 the company closed their Series C raising $85 M in a round led by BlackRock. Other investors include: Alsop Louie Partners, Harpoon Ventures, XN, Explorer 1 Fund, Space Capital, and others. The funds will go towards accelerating the company’s rocket production in hopes to produce more than one rocket per week.
San Francisco based cybersecurity company Nozomi Networks provides OT, ICS, and IoT security solutions. These solutions include AI driven threat analysis which provide actionable intelligence and insights. The company raised $100 M in their Series D which closed on December 6th, 2021. This round was led by Triangle Peak Partners and included investments by Honeywell Ventures, Planven Entrepreneur Ventures, and others. The funds will be used to enhance the company’s current platform and to expand marketing and sales.
What We’re Reading
China to overtake America in core 21st century technologies within next decade - South China Morning Post
Cybercrime stokes costs for small lenders wrestling with online banking boom - S&P Global Market Intelligence