Written by Billy Mitchell
Rebellion Defense — a defense and national security tech startup founded just over two years ago by ex-Department of Defense bureaucracy hackers — is now valued at more than $1 billion.
Rebellion’s unicorn status — as a startup valued at more than $1 billion — comes after it raised more than $150 million in a recent Series B funding round, as reported by Axios.
The valuation is remarkable considering Rebellion was founded in 2019 after CEO Chris Lynch stepped down from his role as director of the Defense Digital Service within the Pentagon but decided to keep his work of providing cutting-edge tech to the military going with through the startup. In particular, Rebellion provides commercial software products with a focus on battlefield awareness, artificial intelligence, data integration and cybersecurity.
Lynch founded Rebellion with Nicole Camarillo, former head of talent for the Army Cyber Command, which works closely with DDS on defense cybersecurity issues, and Oliver Lewis, a former deputy director of the U.K. Government Digital Service who has a background in defense intelligence.
Lynch told Axios that Rebellion is looking to grow its team of 160 by a couple hundred more, most of whom will be software engineers.
The company looks to stand out through its dedication to using tech to support defense and national security at a time when many larger commercial tech companies have toed that line, fearing a backlash from employees and the public. “There is a new wave of people coming into VC who have the courage and tenacity to support our nation’s defense,” Lynch said.
As part of the deal, Nick Sinai — former deputy federal CTO in the Obama administration and now senior adviser at Insight Partners, one of the leaders of Rebellion’s funding round — will join the firm’s board. Venrock joined Insight leading the fundraising deal, rounded out by Innovation Endeavors, Declaration Partners and Lupa Systems. Innovation Endeavors founding partner Eric Schmidt, who is also the former CEO of Google, and Lupa Systems CEO James Murdoch already sit on the board.
“Software excellence will define America’s national security leadership, especially in this new period of strategic competition. The ability for our nation and our allies to deter aggression and act first if needed—enabled by faster insights gleaned from our data, kept secure through continuous cyber readiness—is at the heart of the national security mission,” Sinai told FedScoop. “That’s why we at Insight Partners are excited to partner with Rebellion Defense, to support their continued growth as they build a new kind of defense software company. The Rebellion team has the talent, passion, and creativity to make a significant positive impact on our national security.”