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Highlights From Our Boston Dual-Use Technology Conference, Fundings: Deepwatch, Quantum Motion, Veridion
22 February 2023 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
Last week our Dual-Use Conference in Boston brought together an exciting group of senior military, dual-use, and entrepreneurial community members for an afternoon of thought-provoking discussions on innovation for national security.
From advancing innovation in the national interest to strengthening America’s competitiveness and exploring the geopolitics that shape innovation and leadership, we had an outstanding lineup of speakers who shared their insights.
One of the main highlights was the panel discussion on Innovation in the Dual-Use Ecosystem, where we got to hear from some amazing companies such as Blueforce Development Corporation, Cambridge Terahertz, Eclypses, Phoenix Tailings, Headlamp, and ONA Capital.
The conference ended on a high note, with a networking session that provided a fantastic opportunity for attendees to connect with like-minded individuals while enjoying some delicious appetizers and drinks.
Overall, the event was a great success, and it reinforced the significance of collaboration in addressing pressing issues such as cyber security attacks, digital authenticity, chip shortages, and privacy concerns around massive datasets. Stay tuned for more exciting events like this one in the future!
Archived agenda is available here.
Key People: President & CEO Clayton Thomas
Elevator Pitch: A managed security platform intended to provide content, tactics, techniques, and procedures to identify issues and improve security maturity.
Funding: The company raised $180 million of venture funding from Splunk Ventures, Vista Equity Partners and Springcoast Capital Partners on February 15, 2023.
Elevator Pitch: Qantum computer architectures designed to solve the problem of fault tolerance.
Funding: The company raised GBP 42 million of Series B venture funding in a deal led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital on February 20, 2023. British Patient Capital and 7 other investors also participated in the round.
Elevator Pitch: A deep tech data platform designed to process unstructured data sources to create the definitive source of truth on companies, automated
Funding: The company raised $6 million of seed funding from GapMinder Venture Partners, Day One Capital, and LAUNCHub Ventures on February 21, 2023.
Portfolio Company Success Spotlight:
Cybera, a developer of financial cybercrime platform, successfully recovered $220,000 from scammers on behalf of a South Korean company. This is a testament to the platform's unique and effective fraud reporting and response capabilities. Criminals posing as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) sent an invoice to the company, and the funds were wired before realizing it was a scam. However, the IATA partners with Cybera for immediate fraud reporting and response, and within 24 hours, the beneficiary bank in the UK was notified, and a criminal complaint was filed. In just one week, the funds were secured and returned to the company. This is just one of many recent success stories for Cybera's platform, which is making a significant impact on preventing scammers from cashing out.
Congratulations to the Cybera team on this impressive achievement!
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced last week a new "disruptive technology strike force" tasked with safeguarding American technology from foreign adversaries and other national security threats.
This is preceded by the U.S. government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a powerful national security body, 2020 decision to order the Chinese company ByteDance to divest TikTok because of fears that user data could be passed on to China's government. U.S. law enforcement officials have said that China, by far, remains the biggest threat to America's technological innovation and economic security.
Additionally, the Commerce Department last year imposed new export controls on advanced computing and semiconductor components in a maneuver designed to prevent China from acquiring certain chips.
The rise of open-source intelligence (OSINT) has transformed the way that people receive news. In the run-up to war, commercial satellite imagery and video footage of Russian convoys on TikTok, a social-media site, allowed journalists and researchers to corroborate Western claims that Russia was preparing an invasion. OSINT even predicted its onset.
For armies seeking to maintain operational security, this profusion of data is a nightmare. In 2019, after a series of blunders, Russia passed a law banning soldiers from uploading sensitive photos or videos. It has also attempted to obscure patches on soldiers’ uniforms and vehicle markings to avoid giving away the position of whole units.
But Russia has failed to staunch the flow of information. This sloppiness can have lethal consequences. In December, a Russian volunteer posted photos of forces encamped in a country club in Sahy, an occupied part of Kherson province. His post included a geo-tag of the exact location. Ukrainian missiles later struck it, after which the volunteer posted yet again.
The war in Ukraine is at a stalemate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not changing. General David Petraeus predicts the war will look different this year, with significant offensives likely staged by the two sides.
Petraeus believes the situation is essentially a stalemate at present, albeit with Russia making costly attacks in several areas. However, with both sides building up forces for offensive operations expected in the late winter (likely the Russians) and spring/summer (the Ukrainians), the side that generates the most capable, well-trained, and well-equipped forces by then will make the most significant gains.
Petraeus bets that it is Ukraine that will make those gains but thinks that the war will end in a negotiated resolution where Putin recognizes that the war is unsustainable on both the battlefield and on the home front.
Petraeus believes that when Ukraine reaches the limits of its ability to withstand missile and drone strikes, it is essential to institute a Marshall-like plan (developed by the US and G7) to help rebuild the country and gain an ironclad security guarantee (either NATO membership or, if that is not possible, a US-led coalition guarantee).
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our latest episode, we have guest Daniel Turner sit down with General Partner Jeremy Hitchcock for an engaging conversation where Turner explores his path from the intelligence community to the startup world, his biggest takeaways as a first-time founder, and the application of his government background in the private sector. Listen below on Spotify.