Private equity firm Trive Capital has acquired Hypergiant Industries, in a deal that will furnish the Texas-based AI company with capital to “build even faster,” Hypergiant CEO Mike Betzer told TechCrunch in a recent interview. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hypergiant’s core product is called CommandCenter, a geospatial data visualization platform designed to inform real-time decision-making. It does so by integrating many different sources of data and providing recommendations on the best course of action to the end user, whether that be whether to reposition a satellite or launch a missile.
That doesn’t mean Hypergiant does analytics. Instead, CommandCenter uses artificial intelligence to generate real-time threat analysis and make recommendations, including by providing context like the probability of success or even whether a given decision would generate collateral damage.
Furnishing the Pentagon with these capabilities is paramount, Betzer said: “In my opinion, look, we’re already in World War 3. It is a war of data and the future will be controlled by the people who control the data, or can manipulate the data.”
Hypergiant has not always been so laser-focused on defense and critical infrastructure. When TechCrunch first covered the company way back in 2018, it was working with large brands like TGI Friday’s, Disney and Shell to provide bespoke AI solutions. Hypergiant founder Ben Lamm said this early work helped the company understand the various use cases and needs of different businesses.
“We’ve trended over the years more and more towards critical infrastructure, space and defense, based on the different technologies and use cases that we saw,” he said. Lamm, who has since moved on to head another company, Colossal, which aims to use CRISPR to rebuild the DNA of extinct megafauna, still sits on Hypergiant’s board.
Just last month, Hypergiant announced it was awarded a $61 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to deliver a real-time command and control interface that will be the UX for the Pentagon’s Cloud-Based Command and Control (CBC2) program.
Hypergiant was fielding interest from multiple buyers, Betzer said, but he said it was immediately clear that Trive was set apart. “They’re a long term player, they have a long term vision of what we can do,” he said.
Hypergiant will also work with other companies in Trive’s portfolio, including San Diego-based Forward Slope, which won a large contract from the U.S. Navy. Trive, which has over $4 billion assets under management, invests in companies in industries ranging from aerospace, to food and beverage, to healthcare.
“[Forward Slope has] a huge contract with the Navy but their visualization of their data for the Navy is not optimal,” Betzer said. “We’re already integrating our software with Forward Slope’s software so that we can add ours on top of theirs to have a great visualization of what they’re doing. We’re in Space Force, we’re in Army, we’re in Air Force, [but] we’re not in Navy. This gets us a huge contract in Navy and it gets us across all aspects of the DOD.”
Looking ahead, Hypergiant plans on growing its 200-person team and expanding its customer base, to work with branches of the military like the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and the U.S. Central Command. The company will also continue developing its work on critical infrastructure.