Military AI startup Helsing raises €450M, plans to protect NATO’s border with Russia

Investment in defence tech is rapidly increasing

Military AI startup Helsing raises €450M, plans to protect NATO’s border with Russia

Military AI startup Helsing has raised a whopping €450mn at a reported valuation of €5bn. The German company said the war chest will fund security for NATO’s Eastern Flank.

Founded in 2021, Helsing has rapidly grown into one of Europe’s defence tech leaders. It’s now also among the continent’s most valuable AI startups.

This rapid rise has coincided with increasing alarm about Russia’s threat to Europe.

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in 2022, defence budgets have soared across the region. Helsing has provided an intriguing target for the funds.

The company develops AI software for weapons, vehicles, and military strategy. Its tech has been integrated in battlefield simulations, electronic warfare for fighter jets, and drones in Ukraine. The startup has even entered space, upgrading signal intelligence and anti-jamming in satellites.

With the new funds, Helsing plans to further enhance its AI. The company has pledged to focus on protecting European sovereignty — particularly along NATO’s border with Russia.

Helsing’s three founders, Niklas Köhler, Torsten Reil, and Gundbert Scherf, described the fresh investment as urgent. 

“European security is at a crossroads and Helsing will play a significant role in giving democratic societies the ability to deter and defend. But speed is of the essence,” they said.

“This new funding round allows us to further up the tempo and invest in large-scale R&D and capabilities across all domains.”

The Series C raise was led by VC firm General Catalyst. Elad Gil, Accel, Saab, Lightspeed, Plural, and Greenoak also participated.

Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, MD and Head of Europe at General Catalyst, told TNW that Helsing is among her top AI investments in the continent.

The startup “is shaping up to become a vertical AI category leader in the defence industry,” she said, “with world-class AI technology built by European talent.”

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