Lockheed gives big boost to venture capital arm

Lockheed Martin is doubling the size of its venture capital fund to $200 million thanks to the tax reform package.

Lockheed Martin has doubled its emerging technology-focused venture capital fund to $200 million as the defense contractor is seeking greater access to emerging companies.

The tax reform legislation signed in December that dramatically lowered corporate rates led Lockheed Martin Ventures to put an additional $100 million into the fund. Lockheed said Wednesday it will focus that increase on early-stage companies in sensor technologies, autonomy, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

With the increase, Lockheed is also expanding its relationship with additive and advanced manufacturing software provider nTopology.

Lockheed is eyeing that company’s flagship “ELEMENT” software as a tool that could potentially aid computational design processes and shorten periods between design and manufacturing phases, Lockheed Martin Ventures Vice President and General Manager Chris Moran said in a release.

The Lockheed Martin Ventures arm started in 2007 and in 2016 started to refocus itself on technology areas it sees as growth engines for the corporation and disruptive to the defense industry.

Within the past year the Ventures organization has invested in small satellite maker Terran Orbital, unmanned underwater vehicle manufacturer Ocean Aero and specialized computer chip company Mythic.