With $55M third fund, Scout Ventures is funding veterans ready to tackle the hardest technical challenges

When it comes to people pushing the frontiers of science, few institutions can match the talent of the Department of Defense, the intelligence agencies, and the U.S. national laboratory system. With ample budgets and flexible oversight under that aura of national security, ambitious scientists and engineers are working on everything from quantum computing to next-generation satellites.

That wealth of talent is often left behind in the frenetic product development and fundraising world of Silicon Valley. Langley, Arlington, and Los Alamos are a far cry from Palo Alto or New York City. Even more challenging is the career transition: the government is, well, the government, and the private sector is, well, the private sector. Moving from one to the next can be quite jarring.

Scout Ventures wants to act as the bridge between the startup world and that vast science and technology workforce, with a particular focus on veterans of the military, intelligence agencies, and national labs. Founded about a decade ago in 2012 by Brad Harrison, the firm raised two funds and invested in several dozen companies at the earliest stages, including identity verification platform ID.me (now valued at $1.5 billion), men’s subscription service Bespoke Post, and youth sports management platform LeagueApps. It also incubated companies like health services company Unite Us.

The firm announced this morning that is has raised a $55 million third fund, which will continue its focus on backing veterans while centering its investment thesis on frontier tech in areas like (Read more...)