And how to apply…

Global geopolitical tensions have reached their highest levels since WWII. 92 countries are currently involved in conflicts beyond their borders and the Global Peace Index has measured “peacefulness” declining in nine out of the last ten years. The push to decrease human casualties, combined with recent technological advances, has created a new environment that has governments turning to the historically innovative private sector to stay competitive and defend against potential threats. 

In the last three years alone, U.S. venture capital (VC) funds have injected over $100B into defense-tech companies. And while Department of Defense (DoD) contracts have typically been awarded to established players like Lockheed Martin, RTX, Northrup Grummon, and others, DoD innovation organizations (e.g., DIU, AFWERX, NavalX, and more) are increasingly working with startups to source innovative solutions. 

As founders consider investment partners for their defense or dual-use technology ventures, we’ve put together a list of top funds to consider. And if you are an investor and think you should be on this list, contact us!

Top VC Funds for defense & dual-use founders to pitch in 2024 and how to pitch them:

Outlander VC
About: Top decile-performing generalist pre-seed fund, led by U.S. Marine Corps veteran and defense & intelligence-tech founder Paige Craig, investing at the earliest stages (often first check in).
Stages: Mostly Pre-Seed to Seed
Notable Investments: Scale, ID.me, SpaceX, REGENT, Skyways, Havoc, Vidrovr, Next Stage
How to Apply: Apply directly through this form

Moonshots Capital
About: With 13 unicorns and 27 total exits, Moonshots is a veteran-led seed & early Series A fund investing in bold founders.
Stages: Seed to Series A
Notable Investments: Slack, LinkedIn, Carta, ID.me, Red 6
Application:
Submit proposals through their website

Point72 Ventures
About: Point72 Ventures is the VC arm of Point72 Capital and has a team that includes Managing Partner Dan Gwak, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran turned investor.
Stages: Pre-Seed to Growth
Notable Investments: Shield AI, Vannevar Labs, STOKE Space, Saronic, REGENT
How to Apply: The best way to be considered is to get an intro to a relevant investing partner, but you can also email directly to ideas@p72.vc 

Alumni Ventures
About: A top-quartile performing venture fund that also invests in defense & dual-use technologies.
Stages:
Pre-seed to Growth
Notable Investments:
Unstructured.io, Red 6, Picogrid, Antares Industries, Edgescale AI, Sphere Semi
How to Apply:
Apply directly through this form

Decisive Point Ventures
About: A VC fund focused on making early-stage investments in technology for government, public safety, and defense.
Stages: Predominantly Seed & Series A
Notable Investments: Scout Space, Radiant, Aloft, Firehawk Aerospace
How to Apply: The best way to be considered is to get an intro to a relevant investing partner, but you can also email directly to info@decisivepoint.com

First In Ventures
About: Veteran-led fund investing in security tech solutions across commercial, military, or intelligence sectors.
Stages: Predominantly Pre-Seed & Seed
Notable Investments: Anduril, Shift5, RedOwl, Syncurity
How to Apply: Fill out this form

RTX Ventures
About: Venture capital division of RTX (formerly Raytheon Technologies). Led by Daniel Ateya
Stages:
Predominantly Seed & Series A
Notable Investments: Ursa Major, Hermeus, EnCharge AI, Tomorrow.io
How to Apply: Contact through the RTX Ventures website

In-Q-Tel
About: CIA-contracted investment fund, designed to source innovative information technology solutions for the Central Intelligence Agency. Led by Steve Bowsher.
Stages: Seed, Series A, sometimes later
Notable Investments: Palantir, Databricks, MongoDB, Anaconda
How to Apply: Apply directly through this form

Shield Capital
About: Former DoD Defense Innovation Unit leader and former Symantec CEO Michael Brown became a partner at Shield Capital in 2023 to invest in dual-use defense, cybersecurity, and space companies.
Stages:
Seed to Series B
Notable Investments: Nexla, Apex, ASI, Rebellion
Application: Apply directly through this form

a16z’s American Dynamism
About: Andreesen Horowitz’s American Dynamism practice invests in founders and companies that support the national interest: aerospace, defense, public safety, education, housing, supply chain, industrials, and manufacturing.
Stages: Seed to Growth
Notable Investments: Anduril, Apex, Hadrian
How to Apply: Reach out or get an intro to a relevant investing partner

Silent Ventures
About: Early stage venture firm that invests in exceptional founders building unrivaled aerospace, defense, and national security companies.
Stages: Predominantly Pre-Seed & Seed
Notable Investments: Hadrian, Armada AI, Firestorm
How to Apply: Apply or reach out on LinkedIn

Lockheed Martin Ventures
About: The VC arm of defense giant, Lockheed Martin, doubled its fund commitment from $200M to $400M in 2022, rooted in its belief that the most dynamic defense innovations will come from startups.
Stages: Pre-seed to Growth
Notable Investments: Elroy Air, Hawkeye 360, Heilcity Space, X-Bow
How to Apply: Apply directly through this contact form

Champion Hill Ventures
About: Led by a former infantry and combat engineer officer in the US Marine Corps, Champion Hill has invested in some of the hottest defense tech & space startups.
Stages: Pre-Seed to Seed
Notable Investments: SpaceX, Anduril, and Umbra
How to Apply: Get an intro to or reach out to Managing Partner Josh Manchester.

Insight Partners
About: Generalist VC, increasingly making investments in defense-focused startups
Stages: Pre-seed to Growth
Notable Investments: Rebellion, Tenable, Digital Harbor
Application: Apply through their website

Lux Capital
About: Science & technology venture fund, making strategic investments to protect America’s economic security.
Stages: Any stage
Notable Investments: Anduril, Hadrian, Saildrone
Application: Connect with (or get introduced to) a relevant investing partner

Starburst Ventures
About: Aerospace & Defense investor for America and its allies.
Stages:
Seed to Series A
Notable Investments: Strong Compute, Outpost, Aerocloud
Application: Join one of their accelerators or submit proposals through their website

Scout Ventures
About: Early-stage venture capital firm that invests in frontier technologies built by founders from the military, its intelligence community, and national research labs.
Stages: Seed to Series B
Notable Investments: ID.me, Radical, Voyager Space, Tomahawk Robotics
Application:
Submit proposals through their website

For founders of dual-use start-ups seeking funding, Outlander VC offers unparalleled expertise and strategic support. If you are a defense technology start-up seeking funding and strategic guidance, apply to Outlander VC today.

© Outlander VC. 2022.