December 12, 2023

Armada: Bridging the digital divide for critical industries

I first met Dan Wright and Jon Runyan during the early days of COVID. We were all part of the same small fund, working with founders on big ideas. It was a wild time, one in which vital infrastructure (Healthcare, Logistics, Manufacturing, etc) was put to the test— Fast forward to now; Dan and Jon introduced me to their new company that would help reinforce the very bedrock of our world. They pointed out how we rely on several key industries to facilitate our modern lives: mining rare materials to power our smartphones and electric vehicles, agriculture to feed us, energy to bring light and heat into our homes, and logistics to connect every person to their necessary goods and materials. These are crucial parts of the economy that keep the earth functioning. Then there is the most critical industry of them all—defense; because a secure world is the foundation of our society.

When it comes to these important areas, we have to recognize a cold, hard truth: they are being left behind by technology. While cloud computing was a transformative force for centralized tech, critical industries are more decentralized and often operate in remote locations where table stakes like connectivity aren’t guaranteed.

Enter Dan and Jon’s new company, Armada, the full-stack edge computing platform of the future. Armada deploys mobile, rugged, military-grade data centers at the edge. They ensure connectivity to fast, reliable satellite internet powered by Starlink. This means a team located anywhere in the world can use Armada’s software and take full advantage of their existing data with trusted applications and AI. This is a massive idea, the kind you rarely see in venture—an idea with the potential to completely change the way data will impact the world. It’s an extraordinary company and one we are honored to be investing in alongside our friends at Lux Capital, Shield Capital, Founders Fund, and 8090 Industries.

There have always been mountains of data generated at the edge, a fact that is only increasing every year. Now, with Armada, this data is finally actionable in groundbreaking ways. Here are some ways Armada can help in specific areas:

  • Avert disasters like damn breaks or oil spills by synthesizing sensor data and predicting better maintenance needs.
  • Bring connectivity to remote regions, ensuring workers and citizens have the latest communications capabilities.
  • Use LLMs to take unstructured data and create well reports for energy companies at collection sites.
  • Assist soldiers in assessing threats in real-time, helping with life-or-death decision-making.
  • Ensure physical security at major events like professional sports or concert venues. 

An Armada Galleon data center can be deployed and connected to Starlink within 60 days. Armada’s Connectivity offering makes it easy to order and keep track of your fleet. Their smart alert system will predict poor weather conditions and help find alternative connection options. This modular system means GPU and CPU compute power is now available to any industry that wants it, which means the promise of “digital transformation” is finally ready to be fulfilled. 

Armada’s Command software ensures machines everywhere can be monitored from a single dashboard. Their Marketplace allows teams to interface with their data and assets through innovative AI applications to provide new insights and intelligence. 

Beyond the technology, we could not be more excited about the team. I’ve witnessed their grit and tenacity myself. Dan and Jon have known each other for twenty years and have worked at disruptive companies like AppDynamics, DataRobot, and Okta. The team they’ve recruited have impressive backgrounds—technologists and PhDs—that are executing at an incredible pace. The mission of Armada is imperative: bridge the digital divide and bring the power of the edge to critical industries. The opportunity is huge because the stakes are so high. 

If data is the new oil, then Armada is how it gets refined at the edge into actionable decisions.