US Navy Contracts SIMBA’s Blockchain Technology for $1.5 Million

By Jemima McEvoy Friday, January 22, 2021

Simba Chain has received a $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract from the US Office of Navy Research. The three-year-old blockchain-based app startup company will be helping the United States Department of Defense design and build a blockchain solution to enable demand forecasting. The innovative startup will help its core business build upon its technology.

SIMBA Chain and the Startup’s Business

The company was founded in 2017 from money given to Indiana Technology, Manufacturing Companies, and the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a research and development agency within the US Defense Department. With this money, the Defense Department wanted to facilitate the development of a secure, unhackable US military platform that could be used for messaging and transactions. 

Thus, SIMBA Chain was born. The Indiana-based startup describes itself as a cloud-based, smart contract-as-a-service (SCaaS) platform that enables users to implement decentralized applications. The benefit of decentralized applications — and the likely allure for the US military — is that they allow secure, direct connections between users and providers due to the eliminated role of third parties. With SIMBA Chain’s platform, customers can easily create and deploy blockchain decentralized applications.

Money and Investors

According to Crunchbase, SIMBA Chain has raised $3.5 million to date for their company from a total of seven investors. In addition to the sums from the Small Business Innovation Research contract, the startup pulled in the following investors in a pre-seed fundraising round: Elevate Ventures, the Notre Dame Pit Road Fund, and individual investors Najeeb Khan and Hari Agarwal. Furthermore, Elevate Ventures and the Notre Dame Pit Road Fund also contributed in a seed round, joined by 1st Source Bank.

The Company’s Work With the Defense Department

Building off its long-time relationship with the Department of Defense, the startup has been awarded this grant after earning an SBIR Phase I project in June 2020. For the previous contract, the company worked with the US Marine Corp to define how its blockchain-based prototype would be able to assess the corps’ inventory and physical assets.

The $1.5 million given for Phase II of the contract will be used to continue with the work started last year managing and securing military supply chains, as well as preparing the government agencies for the chance of cyber and physical threats. Per a press release, this project — which started in early January — will be conducted at a fleet readiness center in Jacksonville, Florida.

Final Takeaways

Privacy and security are key issues for the Department of Defense. Entrepreneurs with ideas and technologies in this realm can access ample funding opportunities from the government for their businesses. The majority of SIMBA Chain’s money has come from the Department of Defense, and the future of their business looks bright.

About the Author

Headshot for author Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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