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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Rebellion Defense, a developer of AI solutions for U.S. defense, tells Axios that it has raised $150 million in venture capital at a $1 billion pre-money valuation.

Why it matters: Defense is becoming more about code than combat, and Rebellion is part of a new generation of startups working to keep the U.S. and its allies ahead of their adversaries.

  • The round also reflects a new mindset among venture capitalists, who long avoided defense startups, due to both philosophical disagreements and a general resistance to companies that are reliant on government procurement processes.
  • "There is a new wave of people coming into VC who have the courage and tenacity to support our nation's defense," says Rebellion CEO Chris Lynch, who formed and led the Pentagon's Digital Defense Service under Presidents Obama and Trump.
  • Lynch, who calls his former DOD team a "SWAT team of nerds," adds that Rebellion currently has around 160 employees and plans to add several hundred more — most of whom will be software engineers.

Deal details: Insight Partners and Venrock co-led the round, and were joined by Innovation Endeavors, Declaration Partners and Lupa Systems.

  • Insight's Nick Sinai, U.S. deputy CTO under Obama, will join the board at Rebellion, which already includes former Google CEO Eric Schmidt (via Innovation Endeavors) and former Fox Corp. CEO James Murdoch (via Lupa Systems).

Go deeper: The military is calling in AI for support

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Oct 19, 2021 - Technology

A startup wants to build ethical AI from the ground up

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A San Francisco-based startup called Credo AI is emerging from stealth and helping companies manage the regulatory and ethical risks of their artificial intelligence products.

Why it matters: The more widespread artificial intelligence becomes, the more important it is to build compliance and ethical standards into AI from the start.

Oct 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Scoop: James and Kathryn Murdoch's next media investment

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

James and Kathryn Murdoch are nearing a deal to make a multi-million dollar investment to support the formation of a new climate reporting hub at the Associated Press, two sources familiar with the deal tell Axios.

Why it matters: The duo has increased their investments in media projects in the past few years via their non-profit organization called Quadrivium Foundation.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.