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Shaping the Future of Innovation and National Security, Fundings: Syntiant, Versogen, Tokamak Energy
6 September 2023 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
As we reflect on this past Labor Day, we find ourselves compelled to celebrate not just the spirit of hard work and dedication but also the pursuit of innovation and excellence that defines our mission at New North Ventures. In a world marked by global competition for technological leadership, we stand proudly alongside the visionaries and founders who are committed to shaping the future.
NNV invests in companies that defy convention, creating groundbreaking solutions that hold the promise of both unparalleled commercial success and the advancement of national security. We recognize the inherent challenges of navigating global risks while striving to unlock unique value and accelerate innovation. In this pursuit, we draw inspiration from the World War II-era Office of Strategic Services, a fusion center for disruptive action, where the best successes emerged from the collaboration of exceptional talent from both government and industry.
Our commitment to tackling the most complex and frontier problems is unwavering, and it is through these challenges that our teams not only address pressing national security concerns but also seize upon immense commercial opportunities. These forces combine to fuel opportunities for our nation’s workforce and create economic dominance. As we look to the future, we are inspired by the resilience, ingenuity, and dedication of the NNV community, and we remain steadfast in our mission to support those who lead the way in shaping a brighter and more innovative tomorrow.
We are thrilled to share the remarkable achievements of two of our portfolio companies from this past summer:
1. HawkEye 360's Impressive Series D Funding Round
This summer, HawkEye 360 obtained an impressive $58.0 million in a Series D funding round, securing a spot on Alley Watch’s 10 Largest US Funding Rounds of July 2023.
This achievement not only reflects the company's extraordinary potential but also bolsters its position as a leader in the aerospace, analytics, and wireless industry. With a total equity funding of $362.3 million, HawkEye 360 is poised for even greater success in the future.
2. Reality Defender's Groundbreaking Text Detection Feature
We are also excited to announce that Reality Defender, renowned for its deepfake and AI-generated content detection platform, introduced its Text Detection feature this summer. This remarkable addition empowers enterprise, government, and platform clients to accurately identify text generated by Large Language Models (LLMs).
Boasting an astonishing success rate of over 99.82%, this cutting-edge technology is a significant step forward in combatting disinformation and malicious content. With a leadership team boasting over 20 years of experience in data science and cybersecurity, Reality Defender continues to lead the fight against fraudulent text, audio, and visual content.
We are proud to be a part of these incredible success stories and look forward to witnessing our portfolio companies achieve even greater milestones in the future. Stay tuned for more exciting updates and achievements from our growing portfolio.
China warns the U.S. of crossing a red line in its support for Taiwan, stating that a "storm of lethal consequences" is imminent.
The Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper, criticizes the U.S.'s $80 million military financing program for Taiwan, expressing strong opposition.
The U.S. transfer of military funds to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Financing program sparks backlash from China, violating the one-China principle and international norms.
Chinese officials emphasize that Taiwan is an integral part of China's territory and regard the issue as an internal affair with no room for foreign interference.
AI-generated books on Amazon, particularly those related to foraging for mushrooms, are raising concerns among experts and organizations.
The New York Mycological Society (NYMS) warns that AI-generated foraging books could pose a serious risk to people's lives, as incorrect information could lead to consuming poisonous mushrooms.
Some AI-generated books on Amazon are being marketed as if they were written by humans, causing potential confusion for readers.
The differences between edible and poisonous mushrooms can be subtle and require in-depth knowledge and experience, which AI lacks, making AI-generated guides unreliable for foragers.
Experts suggest verifying authors' activity and credentials online to find reliable information in the midst of AI-generated content inundating the market.
As biotechnology progresses, it becomes feasible to genetically modify pathogens, potentially creating more specific and harmful biological weapons by 2030.
Artificial intelligence, while beneficial in healthcare and disease detection, can also identify bioweapon chemicals, raising concerns that AI tools could be misused to create such weapons.
Existing international frameworks like the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Australia Group lack adequate verification measures and response capabilities, exposing vulnerabilities in the face of biological threats.
Distinguishing intentional and unintentional outbreaks and responding effectively to biothreats pose significant challenges, as science and technology have outpaced safeguards and response mechanisms.
The increasing ease and affordability of developing biological weapons highlight the need for proactive policy responses and preparedness to address looming biological threats, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key People: CEO Kurt Busch
Elevator Pitch: Neuromorphic semiconductors designed to move artificial intelligence and machine learning from the cloud to edge devices.
Funding: The company raised $56.37 million of Series C1 venture funding from M12, Bosch Ventures and Renesas Electronics on September 1, 2023. Sunstone Management, Atlantic Bridge Capital, Alpha Edison, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Alumni Ventures, Horowitz Group and Mirae Asset Capital also participated in the round.
Key People: CEO Yushan Yan Ph.D
Elevator Pitch: Electrolyzer technology designed to use water and renewable energy to produce green hydrogen at scale.
Funding: The company raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from Pangaea Ventures in September 2023.
Elevator Pitch: Commercial fusion power modules intended for the development of affordable, competitive fusion energy.
Funding: The company raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from In-Q-Tel in September 2023.
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our latest episode, we have guest Trevor Hough sit down with General Partner Jeremy Hitchcock for an engaging conversation where Trevor discusses achieving a work-life balance in the dual-use space and provides inspiration for those looking to bridge the gap between national security and private enterprise.