EVERYDAY WE
MAKE PROGRESS

[How D3 came to be]

The story of D3 began in late 2022, when a group of believers decided to launch an initiative that would support innovators from around the world who help Ukraine protect and advance its democracy through technology. Out of this work, the concept for an early-stage fund for techno-democracy was born.

We recognised a tectonic shift in challenges democracies were facing. From securing the integrity of elections, to fending off misinformation and cyber attacks, to defending against external threats of kinetic action by hostile powers, the need for innovation in national security is only increasing.

Ukraine’s bravery in successfully withstanding such attacks showed us the way to do so.
Thus the name was born:
Dare to Defend Democracy.

[How we chose our focus]

We launched our fund in the summer of 2023 with a primary goal to invest in founders who leverage deep technologies for national security.

Ukraine’s potential as a hotspot for such innovation is immense:

  1. It is right in the middle of the largest and most consequential war of this century, which rages in physical, cyber, and information domains.
  2. Its vibrant tech ecosystem stood up to the challenge of developing asymmetric technological advantage at the battlefield and became a magnet for great international talent joining this mission.
  3. The asymmetric advantage Ukraine is gaining often is attributed to commercial technologies whose pace of innovation far exceeds that of conventional defense industry.
  4. Proximity to action allows for quick product iterations, while deregulation opens up revenue opportunities.
  5. Tech founders work hand-in-hand with the warfighters to solve their challenges and often help define tactics and procedures for using new technologies in the military.

There is no better place to test the technology that will preserve the national security of democratic nations for decades ahead.

Ukraine is setting the tone for the future of the defense industry. NATO’s renewed push to revamp and strengthen its capabilities based on these learnings and emerging technologies put the teams working on this right now in a perfect spot to save the democratic world and commercialize on the trend for more defense innovation.

D3 plays the role of a bridge between Ukraine, with its growing expertise in asymmetric defense and related technologies, and NATO Allies, who are equipped with more capital and can be partners for frontier technologies.

For companies originating in Ukraine, we offer support in establishing a business foundation for global growth.

For companies coming from Allied countries, D3 creates opportunities for soft-landing in Ukraine’s tech ecosystem and defense sector.

[How we work with startups]

[1] Alignment
To pick our investment candidates, our investment team meets with the company founders to see if we can be helpful to them achieving their goals. We’re especially looking to connect with tech-focused teams where core members are fully dedicated and passionate about rapid iteration and customer-centric development. We are comfortable investing in very early stages (pre-seed and seed). An important part of our review process is a technical conversation with one of our experts.
[2] Terms
Startups receiving our investment offer must first pass a background check. If successful, we extend our term sheet. We may also offer follow-on investment to companies that find a lead investor on their next round of financing.
[3] Growth
Once startups join our portfolio, we offer them a support and mentorship program designed to accelerate their growth and strengthen their business foundation. This takes the form of setting clear objectives for the nearest 3 months and short weekly alignment calls for this period. In most cases, our role is to find and make relevant introductions for our companies.
[4] Additional program
In addition to the tailored support program, we organize online and offline workshops on fundraising, business development, financial modeling, and more.
  1. To pick our investment candidates, our investment team meets with the company founders to see if we can be helpful to them achieving their goals. We’re especially looking to connect with tech-focused teams where core members are fully dedicated and passionate about rapid iteration and customer-centric development. We are comfortable investing in very early stages (pre-seed and seed). An important part of our review process is a technical conversation with one of our experts.
  2. Startups receiving our investment offer must first pass a background check. If successful, we extend our term sheet. We may also offer follow-on investment to companies that find a lead investor on their next round of financing.
  3. Once startups join our portfolio, we offer them a support and mentorship program designed to accelerate their growth and strengthen their business foundation. This takes the form of setting clear objectives for the nearest 3 months and short weekly alignment calls for this period. In most cases, our role is to find and make relevant introductions for our companies.
  4. In addition to the tailored support program, we organize online and offline workshops on fundraising, business development, financial modeling, and more.