Defense Industry Report 2024: Market Data & Innovation Insights

How are defense industry stakeholders reacting to the increase in global uncertainty and potential for war? In this report, you will explore market data as well as the key areas of innovation and their implications for defense companies and institutional stakeholders worldwide.

The 2024 Defense Industry Report encapsulates a period of dynamic change and technological advancement within global defense circles. It delves into the latest trends, from cyber security measures to the development of unmanned systems, offering a comprehensive overview of the defense landscape. It highlights the pivotal role of emerging markets and the continued evolution of established powers, providing a detailed analysis of industry growth, key players, and prospects.

This defense industry report serves as a reference for stakeholders within the industry, investors, policymakers, and economic analysts, providing a snapshot of the industry’s health to map its trajectory for innovation and growth in the coming years.

StartUs Insights Defense Industry Report 2024

Executive Summary: Defense Report 2024

This report is created using data obtained from the Big Data and AI-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering more than 4.7 million global companies, as well as 20K+ technologies and emerging trends. We also analyzed a sample of 697 defense startups developing innovative solutions to present five examples from emerging defense industry trends.

  • Industry Growth: The data reveals a very slight industry growth contraction of -0.01% over the last year. However, it has witnessed significant employee growth.
  • Manpower & Employment Growth: A robust increase in the defense sector’s workforce, adding over 666000 new employees. This adds to the global workforce of 11 million employees.
  • Patents & Grants: Defense entities hold over 67000 patents and have received more than 2750 grants, indicating high levels of innovation and research engagement.
  • Global Footprint: Key global hubs in the USA, UK, India, Canada, and Australia, with major city hubs in London, New York City, Washington D.C., Sydney, and Melbourne.
  • Investment Landscape: The defense sector data covers over 27900 funding rounds, highlighting its strategic importance for investors.
  • Top Investors: Top investors like Insight Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund, and Tiger Global Management have significantly invested, highlighting confidence in the sector’s growth.
  • Startup Ecosystem: Five innovative startup features include Global Command & Control Technologies (Advanced Air Defense), Arms Cyber (Zero Day Defense Solutions), DYNOVAS (Advanced Defense Manufacturing), DCube (Defense R&D), and SOTIRIA Technology (Underwater Defense Systems).
  • Recommendations for Stakeholders: Stakeholders should note the increasing importance of cybersecurity, unmanned systems, and AI, along with the strategic relevance of top country and city hubs. This summary highlights the critical areas of growth, innovation, and investment that are likely to influence stakeholder decisions and future industry direction.

Explore the Data-driven Defense Industry Report for 2024

The Defense Industry Report 2024 uses data from the Discovery Platform and encapsulates the key metrics that underline the sector’s dynamic growth and innovation. The report presents a nuanced landscape of global military tech enterprises. It indicates a marginal decline in industry growth at -0.01% over the last year, despite a robust increase in the workforce, with the addition of over 666000 employees. The database lists upwards of 135000 companies, demonstrating the sector’s vast scale.

Defense Industry Report 2024 | StartUs Insights


The map on the report highlights the distribution of 697 defense startups, illuminating the global reach of the industry. Globally, defense companies hold over 67000 patents, a testament to their pioneering spirit, and have received more than 2750 grants, underscoring their research capabilities and potential.

The USA, UK, India, Canada, and Australia are identified as the top five country hubs, signifying their strategic importance in defense. Leading city hubs are located in London, New York City, Washington D.C., Sydney, and Melbourne, reflecting their status as vital nodes for innovation and military industry.

What data is used to create this defense report?

Based on the data provided by our Discovery Platform, we observe that the defense industry ranks among the top 5% in the following categories relative to all 20K topics in our database. These categories provide a comprehensive overview of the industry’s key metrics and inform the short-term future direction of the industry.

  • News Coverage & Publications: The defense industry has distinguished itself with more than 6000 publications in the last year.
  • Funding Rounds: With data on over 27900 funding rounds available in our database, the defense sector secures a top ranking for investment activities.
  • Manpower Trends: It boasts more than 11.6 million workers and an addition of over 666000 new employees in the last year.
  • Patents: The industry’s innovation and technological advancements are highlighted by its possession of over 67000 patents.
  • Grants: With more than 2750 grants awarded, the defense sector also ranks in the top for research and development funding. This showcases broad support for advancing defense technologies and capabilities.
  • and much more! Book a demo to explore all the data used to create this report.

A Snapshot of the Global Defense Industry

The defense industry showcases significant growth and investment, underpinned by robust manpower and financial metrics. With a total workforce of 11.6 million, the industry has witnessed an impressive increase, adding over 666000 employees in the last year alone. This growth highlights the sector’s expanding capacity and its critical role in national security and technology development. This number is only set to increase with the renewal of defense budgets across Europe and also in other parts of the world.

Explore the Funding Landscape of the Defense Industry

Financially, the average investment value in the defense sector stands at USD 48 million. This indicates strong investor confidence and the strategic importance of defense technologies. The involvement of more than 9700 investors has resulted in over 27900 funding rounds, a testament to the vibrant and dynamic nature of investments.

Moreover, these investments have been distributed across more than 11400 companies. This reflects broad interest in various niches within the defense sector, from aerospace and weaponry to cybersecurity and advanced communications systems. This financial engagement drives innovation and technological advancement. It also underscores the defense industry’s crucial role in global stability and security.


Who is Investing in Defense Technologies?

In the defense industry, the top investors have collectively channeled more than USD 10.5 billion into various companies. This highlights the sector’s strategic importance and the substantial financial commitment from leading financiers.

  • Insight Partners leads in investment value, allocating USD 3 billion across 45 companies, demonstrating its significant influence and bullish outlook on the sector’s potential.
  • SoftBank Vision Fund follows with an investment of USD 1.6 billion in 7 companies, underscoring its strategic bets on innovative defense technologies.
  • Tiger Global Management has committed USD 1.2 billion to 16 companies, reflecting its active engagement and confidence in the industry’s future.
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, with a focused investment of USD 1 billion in 5 companies, highlights its targeted approach towards high-potential defense ventures.
  • Onex also directs USD 1 billion into 3 companies, indicating a concentrated investment strategy in the sector’s promising areas.
  • Caisse de Depot et Placement du Québec has invested USD 939 million in 7 companies. This showcases its focus on the industry’s advancement and innovation.
  • ManTech’s investment of USD 880 million in 6 companies further emphasizes the sector’s attractiveness to investors looking for growth and development opportunities.
  • Accel rounds out this group with USD 864 million invested in 18 companies. It highlights its broad and strategic interest in nurturing the future of the defense industry.

These investments reflect a robust and dynamic defense industry. Key financiers play a pivotal role in driving forward technological advancements and supporting the development of next-generation defense capabilities.

The report also examines the defense sector trends to reveal the industry’s future direction. Zero Day Exploits lead the conversation with 3.9K mentions, reflecting heightened concerns over cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Air Defense Systems also feature prominently, discussed 3.7K times.

Defense Industry Report 2024 | StartUs Insights


In terms of company engagement, Defense Manufacturing takes the forefront with 443 companies involved, indicating robust activity in the production of defense materials and technology. These trends paint a clear picture of an industry invested in advancing cybersecurity and manufacturing to address emerging challenges.

Explore Firmographic Data for All Defense Industry Trends

The defense industry is experiencing notable trends, each reflecting the evolving landscape of security and technology.

  • Air Defense Systems are at the forefront, with 171 companies identified and employing over 70600 individuals. This sector has welcomed 5200 new employees in the last year, achieving an annual trend growth rate of 6.56%. This growth highlights the increasing global emphasis on aerial threats and the need for sophisticated systems to detect, track, and neutralize incoming threats. It also indicates countries’ prioritization of airspace security, missile defense, and radar systems.
  • Proactive Cybersecurity marks another critical trend, with 320 companies and over 26000 employees, bolstered by an addition of 2600+ new employees last year. It is reflected in its annual growth rate of 4.17%. This trend underscores the shifting focus toward preemptive measures in cybersecurity. It emphasizes the development of advanced solutions to anticipate, prevent, and mitigate cyber threats in real time. The growing workforce in this area highlights the sector’s response to the escalating complexity and frequency of cyber attacks.
  • Defense Manufacturing, with 443 companies and 38500 employees, sees a slight decline, with an annual trend growth rate of -0.36%. Despite the marginal decrease, the presence of 2400 new employees last year indicates ongoing efforts to modernize and adapt manufacturing processes. This trend suggests a period of consolidation and efficiency improvement, focusing on innovation in manufacturing technologies. These include additive manufacturing and automation to enhance production capabilities and meet the evolving demands of modern warfare.

5 Top Examples from 697 Innovative Defense Startups impacting the Industry

The five innovative startups showcased below are picked based on data including the trend they operate within and their relevance, founding year, funding status, and more. Book a platform demo to find promising startups, emerging trends, or industry data specific to your company’s needs and objectives.

Global Command & Control Technologies specializes in Advanced Air Defense

Global Command & Control Technologies is a South Africa-based startup that specializes in advanced surveillance, control, and air defense systems. Its SCAD platform integrates a suite of sensors and effectors, ensuring comprehensive situational awareness for strategic operations. This system supports real-time decision-making through its advanced analytics and robust communication networks. Additionally, the platform offers interoperability with various defense assets, streamlining command and control processes. Global Command & Control Technologies equips the SCAD system with electronic warfare and cyber defense capabilities. This enhances battlefield effectiveness and adapts to evolving military needs.

Arms Cyber provides Zero Day Defense Solutions

US-based startup Arms Cyber specializes in proactive 24×7 cybersecurity through its Phalanx platform. It enhances endpoint and cloud data protection. Phalanx Endpoint secures systems by thwarting potential threats proactively, while Phalanx Cloud shields cloud-stored data around the clock. The platform’s Moving Target Defense (MTD) mechanism safeguards vulnerable applications from memory corruption. Phalanx also promises to halt fileless and in-memory attacks, addressing gaps left by traditional antivirus and endpoint detection response solutions. By dynamically altering in-process memory, it strengthens defenses against unpatched and unknown vulnerabilities.

DYNOVAS improves Advanced Defense Manufacturing

Dynovas is a US-based startup that operates as an aerospace and defense contractor, delivering comprehensive engineering solutions. It specializes in composite fabrication, utilizing advanced processes for solid laminate and honeycomb sandwich structures. Additionally, Dynovas possesses a broad spectrum of manufacturing capabilities, working with various advanced materials, metals, plastics, and ceramics. The startup also offers inspection and testing services, including standard ASTM materials testing, pressure vessel testing, and full-scale structural system testing. Precision inspection employs FARO and Laser Tracking techniques, ensuring meticulous quality control.

DCube advances Defense R&D

Italian startup DCube specializes in the research and development of advanced defense technologies. The firm designs mechanical and electrical components compliant with MIL-STD, leveraging extensive military experience and partner collaborations. Its expertise extends to the development of both software and hardware, overseeing the full production cycle. Further, DCube collaborates with partners to forge innovative military products.

SOTIRIA Technology develops Underwater Defense Systems

Greek startup SOTIRIA Technology specializes in advancing the European Aerospace and Defense industry through scientific AI solutions. Its product, Type S, is a fluxgate magnetic sensor for detecting high displacement ferromagnetic threats. Type A serves as an advanced passive hydrophone for a range of displacement masses. Dioptre, the backbone of its detection solutions, operates as an AI-powered software platform. Nereid represents a scalable AI-driven system for underwater warfare intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. These innovations support critical maritime terrain and infrastructure security. The company works on transitioning to a safer future with its sustainable AI solutions.

Looking for Comprehensive Insights into Defense Industry Trends, Startups, or Technologies?

The Defense Industry Report underscores the sector’s vigorous adaptation to new geopolitical realities and technological frontiers. The industry’s trajectory points towards increased investment in cybersecurity, the expansion of unmanned systems, and the integration of artificial intelligence. As the defense sector navigates these complexities, the insights provided in this report will serve as a reference for future planning and development within this ever-critical industry. Book a platform demo to explore all 650+ startups and scaleups, as well as all industry trends impacting various defense stakeholders.

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