Data Management Startup Fluree Unlocks $1.5M Air Force Contract With Latest VC Raise

The Air Force demanded Fluree raise at least $1.5 million before beginning its blockchain project's second phase.

Sep 30, 2020 at 4:52 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:02 a.m. UTC

Blockchain startup Fluree, already building a distributed data management platform to boost the U.S. Air Force's decision-making prowess, has raised $2.5 million in additional funding from its venture capital backers.

The fresh capital pushes Fluree Public Benefit Corporation's total seed funding to $6.5 million. It also unlocks a $1.5 million defense contract pledged as matching funds through the U.S. Air Force's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, said Fluree communications manager Kevin Doubleday.

  • He said Fluree will now begin working on Phase II of its USAF project: a blockchain-based and cryptographically secured Multi-Domain Command and Control platform for cross-partner information and data sharing.
  • "We won the contract with USAF to build a secure communications [platform] between USAF and its worldwide partners, but part of the contract stipulates that we raise" additional venture capital funding, Doubleday told CoinDesk.
  • He said the requirement is USAF's way of ensuring Fluree's "tech has longevity" and traction in the private sector. It is a common clause in Defense contracts meted out through SBIR.
  • First-time Fluree investor Engage Ventures, a Southeast U.S.-focused tech VC, contributed alongside previous backers 4490 Ventures Rise of the Rest, Good Growth Capital and cyber security CEO Ray Rothrock.
  • Fluree will use the funds to hire more engineers to work on its verifiable credential and distributed identity infrastructures, Doubleday said.
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