DC Tech Lobbying Shop Is Raising $100 Million for New VC Fund

(Bloomberg) -- The Washington-based lobbying group J.A. Green & Co., known for its tech-heavy client roster including Palantir Technologies Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Inc., is raising $100 million for a venture capital fund alongside investment firm Anzu Partners.

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The new Anzu-Green Critical Technologies Fund will aim to back technology startups that support national security — including in artificial intelligence, quantum science and renewable energy, the companies said.

“We have good insights,” said Jeff A. Green, a managing partner of the new fund and founder of the lobbying firm. “Now we are spinning that out to the fund.”

The Anzu-Green fund represents an unusual foray into venture capital for a DC lobbying shop, even as the fund focuses on the increasingly popular realm of defense technology. The growth of startups like Palantir and Elon Musk’s SpaceX into multibillion-dollar defense contractors helped pushed venture investing in defense, aerospace and related sectors to record levels in 2023. Other startups focusing on defense have stepped up their DC outreach in recent years.

Scale AI, which is helping the Pentagon test and evaluate generative AI, was valued by private investors at nearly $14 billion earlier this month. And Anduril Industries Inc. recently won a major contract to develop an unmanned fighter jet for the US Air Force.

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Anzu-Green will focus on early startups, with a preference for those already bringing in revenue. Two of Anzu’s leaders, Managing Partners David Seldin and Whitney Haring-Smith, will help vet potential deals and serve alongside Green and also serve as managing partners of the new fund. Anzu, which works in both VC and private equity, has more than $1 billion under management.

Green said he wants to help portfolio startups identify grants and other non-dilutive funding while navigating the notoriously difficult journey to win regular government business — similar to the services he offers clients like Palantir, which brings in most of its revenue from government agencies, including the Defense Department in the US.

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