Space and Defense Tech Roadmap, with Tess Hatch (BVP)


This week’s episode features Tess Hatch, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Tess joins us to chat the firm’s new strategy around space and defense technology. She also recounts her transition from an aspiring astronaut to a deep tech investor.


San Francisco-based venture capital firm, Bessemer Venture Partners, is diving into defense technology, with Payload securing the first interview to discuss the firm’s new strategy with Partner Tess Hatch. Despite the firm’s historical successes with space companies such as Terra Bella (formerly Skybox), Spire, and Rocket Lab, they are cautiously awaiting a new technological catalyst before making further industry investments.

Meanwhile, Tess has turned her attention to the defense sector highlighted in the firm’s recent Bessemer’s defense tech roadmap. She highlights AI/ML solutions and autonomous systems as critical investment areas, aiming to influence the future of national security significantly.

Tess joins us to recount her transition from an aspiring astronaut to a deep tech investor. In addition, Mo and Tess discuss:

  • Bessemer’s early space thesis
  • A breakdown of defense tech
  • The concept of “dual use”
  • Tech shaping the future of national security
  • Challenges to defense investing

And much, much more…

• Chapters •

00:00 – Intro

02:15 – Tess’s career arc

04:06 – Tess’s transition from engineer to investor

06:27 – High capex in deep tech investing

09:04 – BVP’s investment strategy

15:59 – Space industry today and future predictions

18:37 – New investors in the space industry

21:07 – A third catalyst?

23:41 – Bessemer’s defense tech roadmap

26:28 – How does Bessemer differentiate itself

28:11 – How do you define defense tech?

30:43 – Concept of dual use

32:21 – Reality of dual use

35:12 – Challenges of defense tech investing

38:41 – Future opportunity in national security

40:53 – Liquidity in defense tech

42:48 – Who should partner with Bessemer?

45:08 – Favorite war movie/book

• Show notes •

BVP’s Defense Tech Roadmap —

BVP’s socials —

Mo’s socials —

Payload’s socials — /

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