Booz Allen Ventures invests in drone monitoring startup Hidden Level

22 February 2023 3 min. read
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Booz Allen Ventures, the venture capital arm of consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, has made a strategic investment in Hidden Level Inc., a Syracuse, NY-based developer of passive sensing technology of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The investment is part of Booz Allen’s Digital Battlespace platform, which focuses on solutions addressing Department of Defense (DoD) challenges in command, control, and communications (C3) and battle management; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and electronic warfare; and warfighter systems and human-machine teaming.

“The ongoing conflict in Ukraine empirically demonstrates the value of UAS technologies and disproportionate intelligence in modern warfare,” said Steve Escaravage, executive vice president at Booz Allen and leader of the firm’s Digital Battlespace platform. “Investments in companies like Hidden Level accelerate our ability to bring novel insights to the counter-UAS mission, expanding the potential for decision advantage by our nation’s warfighters.”

Hidden Level was founded in 2018 and uses advanced radio frequency (RF) sensing technology to provide situational awareness and support counter-UAS missions.

Booz Allen Ventures invests in drone monitoring startup Hidden Level

The firm’s SaaS offering for drone detection can monitor airspace for an entire city or a specific point of interest. The technology has applications across smart cities, corporate security and law enforcement, commercial traffic management, critical infrastructure protection, and the battlefield.

Russia’s war with Ukraine has highlighted the critical nature of drones for intelligence and surveillance, as well as strike potential on the battlefield and civilian infrastructure. Russia has notably been utilizing Iranian Shahed drones to repeatedly attack Ukrainian power grids.

“In an ever-changing geopolitical climate, it is imperative we continue to advance technology for our clients, and to empower warfighters with the tools and information they need to perform their jobs safely,” said Travis Bales, a leader within Booz Allen Ventures and former Army officer. “We are excited about the work Booz Allen and Hidden Level are doing to accelerate innovation and enhance mission critical technology to meet the needs of our defense clients.”

Booz Allen launched its venture capital arm last year. The $100-million VC fund focuses on investments in commercial technology for federal clients. Fund targets are early-stage companies (seed, Series A, Series B) in the four core areas of defense, AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, and deep technology.

The Hidden Level investment is Booz Allen Ventures’ first in 2023. It previously invested in Latent AI, Synthetaic, and Reveal Technology.

“We’re very excited about the path forward with Booz Allen to support DOD missions and provide critical insights for our soldiers on the ground,” said Jeff Cole, chief executive officer and co-founder of Hidden Level. “Booz Allen understands the technology needed to support warfighters, and Hidden Level will play an important role in both tactically and strategically supporting DOD through dual-use technology to achieve decision superiority.”

Hidden Levels’ investors include various VC firms as well as Lockheed Martin.