Startup investors are fueling a boom in U.S. defense tech as China standoff opens doors at home

2023-09-07 13:01:18  • 9 mins

Key Points

  • As tensions grow with China, U.S.-based venture capitalists are seeing investment opportunities in domestic defense tech.
  • VC funding in aerospace and defense technology has shot up in recent years, according to data compiled by PitchBook for CNBC.
  • "Everyone's kind of standing up their own their own practices to support the market," said Chris Power, CEO of Hadrian Automation.

Hadrian Automation CEO Chris Power

Hadrian Automation

When President Joe Biden announced an executive order last month limiting U.S. investment in critical technologies in China, the venture capital community hardly blinked.

That's because many U.S. startup investors have already retreated from China, after years of political mudslinging between the world's two largest economies led to increased sanctions and trade restrictions.

But with the door to the Chinese tech market closing, VCs are seeing new opportunities on their home turf. The U.S. government is actively promoting investments in semiconductors and broader industrial development, and investors are finding a widening talent pool invigorated to take on tough challenges in light of world events, with an explicit focus on protecting U.S. values.

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