The Silicon Valley Defense Group (SVDG) recently created a new list of the top venture-funded defense and dual-use startups. The list, called the NatSec100, was developed to offer a data-driven snapshot of the evolving techno-security ecosystem.
In the press release, SVDG commented, ” The list is by no means a perfect indicator of the future success or failure of the companies it comprises; rather, it is intended to drive conversation around the emerging tech ecosystem in national security. While the DOD has long resisted ‘picking winners,’ the NatSec100 ranks companies based on which are the comparative front-runners in the defense and national security space each year.”
The NatSec100’s top-tier startups in their inaugural year have collectively achieved a remarkable $42 billion in funding to date. To put this figure into context, it surpasses DARPA’s $20 billion expenditure on R&D over the past five years. These startups are actively developing crucial technological capabilities essential for our national security, with support from prominent global venture capital firms. Despite their substantial funding, the revenue generated by these companies from the federal government currently ranges between $2 and $5 billion, which is noticeably lower than their combined funding. As private entities, their revenue figures are not publicly available, but SVDG estimates their annual revenue based on non-public information and public government contracts.
In a previous article, SVDG highlighted three key advantages that venture-funded defense and dual-use startups bring to the table, making them highly valuable for national security: speed, scale, and selection. These startups possess the ability to rapidly develop cutting-edge technologies, offering a diverse “catalog” of solutions that buyers in need of immediate capabilities can readily access.
However, despite these advantages, the national security sector has thus far struggled to provide consistent and sufficient contracts to support emerging technology companies. This lack of reliable government revenue hinders the progress of these startups, impeding their transition from early and growth stages to profitability. Consequently, this sustainable government funding shortage may discourage startups and their investors from actively participating in the national security market.
The NatSec100 list was collaboratively compiled by Silicon Valley Defense Group (SVDG), Franklin Templeton, and Balyasny Asset Management. The compilation process considered the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E))’s 14 Critical Technology Areas and involved private discussions with senior leaders from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the intelligence community.
Companies had to be actively engaged in DOD critical technology areas to be eligible for the list. The rankings were determined using weighted, quantitative factors, which allowed for an analysis of each company’s size, growth, and momentum. Specifically, key factors like headcount growth, total capital raised, and fundraising momentum were assessed and assigned appropriate weights to calculate a score for each company.
It’s important to note that these metrics may not be perfect indicators of success for the companies, but they demonstrate momentum in venture-backed growth. All the data used for the NatSec100 2023 was collected up until the end of April 2023.
Three companies with extensive experience in the Counter-UAS industry were named to the inaugural NatSec 100- Anduril, Dedrone, and Epirus.
Counter-UAS Companies in the NatSec 100
Anduril is described in the NatSec100 as a “Defense technology company with the mission to transform US and allied military capabilities with advanced technology.” The company, founded in 2017 and headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, has raised approximately $2.3 billion.
Recent C-UAS Hub news about Andruril: Anduril Industries Acquires Adranos
Epirus, a company founded in 2018, and headquartered in Torrance, California, is described as having a “HPM (high power microwave) technology software to counter UAS.” Epirus is noted as having raised approximately $291 million.
Recent C-UAS Hub news about Epirus: DroneSentry and Leonidas Integrate
Dedrone is described in the NatSec100 as a “Counter-drone security technology platform.” The Sterling, Virginia, headquartered company has raised approximately $133 million.
Recent C-UAS Hub news about Dedrone: Dedrone launches Multi-Sensor C-sUAS Solution
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Post Image- DedroneTactical Counter-UAS system (Image Credit: Dedrone)