Why Dcode Started An Investment Network

by Meagan Metzger, Dcode CEO

After months in stealth mode, we’re sharing our investment network Dcode Capital with our community of government leaders, emerging tech companies, industry partners, and venture capital friends — who are all in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

The government is rushing to respond to the pandemic and make telework secure during a vulnerable time. Our alumni tech companies and other government contractors are working hard to support those response efforts. And funding may become scarce in the coming months of economic uncertainty.

The coronavirus outbreak stresses the U.S. government’s need for commercial tech solutions that are fully vetted and equipped to support government missions today. Plus, the federal market is an opportunity for tech companies looking to diversify their revenue, which is even more important now.

We’re presented with a unique opportunity to help with these challenges since we started Dcode Capital months ago to invest in tech companies that can move our country forward. Tech companies working in the federal market are strong bets, especially now. And Dcode Capital is yet another way we can support top tech with government use cases so that companies do not have to turn to foreign funding.

Our members in the Dcode Capital investment network include former federal CIOs and agency heads, former military leaders, and private sector directors who manage impressive portfolios for systems integrators and tech companies. With me, two other women lead Dcode Capital: our chief strategy officer Meg Vorland and Dcode board member Phaedra Chrousos.

Meg has played an integral role in the growth of several companies through preparing for funding, expanding into new markets, and scaling operations. Meg also worked at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where she advised and led high-priority internal operations, made policy recommendations to the SBA Administrator, and implemented policy decisions affecting small businesses. Phaedra was a political appointee for the Obama Administration, where she scaled some of the administration’s most successful digital initiatives and co-founded the Technology Transformation Service.

In those previous jobs and at Dcode, we continuously hear from government leaders in our community that they are eager to work with VCs to better identify top tech that can support government missions and effectively evaluate tech companies. We believe that getting everyone — government, tech, venture, industry partners — involved is key in improving the way government runs and uncovering exciting opportunities.

Through our accelerator, Dcode has access to both early- and growth-stage financing rounds. So, the Dcode Capital network has exclusive opportunities to invest alongside some of the top venture capital funds. While some VCs recommend their portfolios avoid the government, we have a growing network of investors interested in emerging tech companies scaling in the federal market.

To date, the Dcode Capital network has invested over $3 million in companies, like Trifacta and Stardog, that are working with dozens of federal agencies and scaling in the government market. Our accelerator ensures that Dcode Capital members have access to a high-quality pipeline of emerging tech companies that have been thoroughly vetted and equipped to work with the government successfully.

We have vetted the companies in the Dcode Capital pipeline twice. The application review process for each of our accelerator cohorts is rigorous and provides us with key information about each company’s products, financials, and team. Factors like foreign investments can increase risk to the government consumer, so we take security very seriously and evaluate those areas of the companies to ensure they are a good fit.

Then, during Dcode’s accelerator program, we get to know each company on an intimate level, giving us insight into which companies will have success in cutting time to revenue and driving scale in the federal market. We measure the success of our accelerator by the number of alumni tech companies delivering MVPs and new programs of record with federal agencies.

Therefore, companies in the Dcode Capital pipeline are of the highest caliber in the federal market, and when Dcode Capital decides to invest, we conduct additional diligence. With this insight, we can invest in tech companies with real potential to advance the government’s tech stack.

As for the coming months, Dcode Capital will continue working to fund the most promising emerging tech that can impact government missions in crises and better serve Americans in the long run. We look forward to working with our Dcode Capital members to continue driving commercial innovation into the federal market to improve the way the government runs and support the emerging tech ecosystem that will make our country stronger.

To learn more about Dcode Capital, visit dcode.co/capital.