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Building the future of defense with directed energy products

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Looking Ahead

The Future of Defense

Epirus is doing some pretty amazing things in the defense space. They are building high power microwave (HPM) technology to combat against unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Their directed energy product essentially fires beams of energy at drone threats to disable their electronics and protect critical infrastructure.

Their flagship product, Leonidas, is a compact and versatile C-UAS ("counter" UAS) solution that has applications in both the commercial sector and defense. Its directed energy capabilities combined with AI allow it to target and disable drone threats, whether it is an individual drone operating in a narrow space, or swarm of drones covering a wide area.

The technology sounds like something straight out of a SciFi movie!

What is this important?

Having an understanding of the external environment is important in order to understand why Epirus has the potential to be hugely disruptive. 21st Century threats look a lot different than the ones that we faced a few decades, or even a few years ago. The current nomenclature for these threats is "asymmetric". Asymmetric threats are actually profilerating across the globe, so much so that defending against them is becoming a $2 billion industry. Although a bit unnerving, it doesn't take much imagination to envision a scenario where a rogue individual buys a drone on Amazon for a couple hundred bucks, turns it into a weapon, and flys it into a crowd or critical infrastructure. As technology advances, and global power dynamics take new shape, we can expect to live with these threats for at least the coming decades.

We don't claim to be experts on geopolitical power dynamics, but it is equally facsinating and terrifying to think about the types of threats our country is facing, and the type of infrastructure needed to respond effectively. As a powerful nation state, it makes sense that the less powerful subversives will attack in spontaneous and creative ways. The existing system seems to be set up for longer, larger, and more drawn out forms of conflict, which is creating an interesting opening for smaller, nimble startups to innovate. Many of the largest defense contractors (Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman) were founded and came of age during a time that looked much different - think World Wars I & II, and the Cold War. Though they are building some incredibly dynamic technologies, they aren't the posterchildren for creativity or agility. Enter startups like Epirus.

Defense Meets Silicon Valley

Epirus was founded by a mix of folks from both defense and technology. It appears that they are attempting to build a next generation defense company, which combines traditional defense know-how combined with the Silicon Valley approach to building products and culture. If things go to plan, both their products and culture will be defined by creativity, agility, and continuous innovation. We are certainly rooting for them to continue to innovate and protect the ideals of our nation and allies.

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  • Location

    Los Angeles, CA
  • People

    50 - 150
  • Vitals

    • Raised a $70 million Series B (Dec2020)
    • ~60 people today (Dec2020) and plan to hire a 100 in 2021, and another 100 in 2022
    • Partnership with Northrop Grumman for their C-UAS solution Leonidas
    • Offices in Los Angeles & Virginia
  • Industries

    • DefenseTech
  • Technologies

    • C++
    • Python
  • Core Values

    • Creativity