Blockchain startup SIMBA Chain has raised $1.5 million in a seed financing round which saw participation from Notre Dame's Pit Road Fund, Elevate Ventures, First Source Capital, and individual angel investors.
SIMBA Chain was established in 2017 as the result of a grant awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to the University of Notre Dame Center for Research Computing and ITAMCO to develop a secure, unhackable messaging and transaction platform for the U.S. military.
SIMBA Chain is a cloud-based, smart-contract-as-a-service (SCaaS) platform that enables users, developers, government, and enterprises to quickly develop and deploy blockchain dapps (decentralized applications) for iOS, Android, and the web.
Last year, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) partnered with SIMBA Chain for a manufacturing traceability project, dubbed as the “Blockchain Approach for Supply Chain Additive Manufacturing Parts” or BASECAMP. SIMBA Chain was tasked with developing a blockchain prototype to register and trace additive manufacturing components during their lifespan.
In its press release, the firm said that it plans to use the fresh funding to hire additional sales and development personnel to accelerate the market rollout and support the initial execution of a number of major government contracts, including one with the USAF.
With the closing of the seed round, SIMBA Chain co-founder and CEO Joel Neidig is excited about what 2020 holds for the company.
"In 2019, we made some strategic hires and participated in key industry events like Microsoft's Inspire conference that launched SIMBA Chain to Microsoft's dealer base and Disrupt Berlin, where we were a TechCrunch Top Pick. Now it's time to grow!" he said.
As part of the funding round, Bryan Ritchie will join SIMBA Chain’s board of directors. Ritchie is a vice president and the Cathy and John Martin Associate Provost for Innovation at Notre Dame. He also leads the IDEA Center, the University's hub for innovation and commercialization.
"The technology underpinning SIMBA Chain was developed at Notre Dame and the company itself was founded by community partners and faculty. I am particularly honored to serve on SIMBA Chain's board of directors and help shepherd the company to commercial success, but equally important, have a role in transforming how data is stored, shared, and secured around the globe," said Ritchie.