Protection tech investments rise amid rising world tensions
At Andreessen Horowitz’s latest American Dynamism summit, Hadrian founder and CEO Chris Energy painted an image of the nation in peril. “I’m right here to speak to you about an existential threat to the way forward for the Republic and the way Hadrian is attempting to resolve it,” he began.
His phrases – a mixture of rationalism and Marcus Aurelius – weren’t misplaced on the occasion, which introduced collectively a mix of buyers, founders, policymakers and different Washington officers to debate points dealing with the nation. A notable variety of talks have been associated to protection and nationwide safety, in step with the American Dynamism staff’s funding portfolio, which incorporates bets on protection tech startups like Hadrian, Anduril and Defend AI.
Just some years in the past, many buyers thought that chopping a examine for a defense-first startup was a proposition that merely didn’t make sense. The tides have clearly shifted: a16z is one in every of many companies that’s taken a stronger curiosity in protection and nationwide safety. PitchBook data helps this warming to protection tech. From January to October final yr, VC-backed companies injected $7 billion into aerospace and protection firms, a large development that stands in sharp distinction to the relative sluggishness in different sectors. Some offers in latest months embody Anduril’s $1.4 billion Sequence E; Defend AI’s $225 million Sequence E; and Vannevar Labs’ $75 million Sequence B.
There are numerous causes for this uptick in curiosity in protection tech, however driving all of them is a brand new, realist imaginative and prescient that’s unfold amongst some technologists and enterprise capitalists. It sees world antagonisms threatening the steadiness of Pax Americana; it sees america rotting from the within out as a consequence of bloat and lethargy. In consequence, the Silicon Valley mentality has returned to its protection roots, embracing the position that venture-funded startups can play in sustaining America’s navy dominance and technological supremacy all over the world.
“Should you imagine in democracy, democracy calls for a sword,” a16z common companion David Ulevitch mentioned in a latest interview with TechCrunch. And Silicon Valley will likely be the place it’s cast.