Startup Raises Seed Funding to Develop Dual-Use Slack, Location, and Payments Platform for Humanitarian and Military Applications

When Helsing raised a $223 million Series B round, the tech world saw it as continued confirmation that Defence was unquestionably back on the investing agenda.

Further confirmation comes today in the form of a $5.5 million Seed round for UK defense tech startup Labrys Technologies, led by Germany’s Project A Ventures. Also participating were MD One Ventures, Marque VC, Offset Ventures, and Expeditions Fund. The funds will be used to expand the development and R&D teams, as well as build out the commercial sales team.

Labrys is perhaps best described as Slack-meets-location-meets-payments for both military and humanitarian scenarios. While that’s a bit of a mouthful, when you look at the problems the product is aimed at solving, it begins to make more sense.

What is commonly used in fast-moving situations like a humanitarian crisis is WhatsApp, which presents certain limitations. These include difficulties in validating the identities of humanitarian workers, challenges in revealing their locations, and limitations in terms of managing large teams and communications.

The Labrys platform, Axiom C2 and Axiom Communicator, allows for KYC/E verification, encrypted communications, task management, and individual users can be geo-located. Lastly, it also wraps in digital payments via Crypto stablecoins. In other words, you can know who you’re dealing with, know where they are, and there’s a method to pay them.

Labrys claims the platform has already proven its worth in the field. For instance, it was used in Afghanistan where it’s assisted in the evacuation of 5,000 persecuted Afghan minorities, as well as being used by Ukrainian State Emergency Services during the Kakhovka Dam breach.

The environment Labrys is operating in is a rarified one, with numerous civilian and military solutions overlapping. This latest funding is amongst the biggest Seed round for a defence tech startup in Europe to date, reflective of how Defense is no longer off limits for investors, as we saw this year during TechCrunch Disrupt.

Plus, ‘dual use’ products that coordinate either civilian or military teams, is a growing market. As of 2022, the global Command and Control Systems market was estimated at $22 billion, and is anticipated to reach $28 billion in 2028.

Meanwhile, Improbable, EclecticIQ, Living Optics, and Preligens are all European companies which have raised tens of millions, and often more, in funding in the last year or so. The news reflects now baked-in trends from last year when VC-backed firms injected $7 billion into aerospace and defense companies in the US.


Hot News