J2 Ventures, focused on military healthcare, grabs $150M for its second fund

J2 Ventures, a firm led mostly by U.S. military veterans, announced on Thursday that it has raised a $150 million second fund. The Boston-based firm invests in startups whose products are purchased by civilians and the U.S. Department of Defense.

While many emerging VCs are struggling to raise second funds, J2’s latest vehicle is more than double its $67.5 million debut fund from 2021.

At first blush, the firm may seem to be benefiting from VCs' growing interest in defense tech. But J2 has no interest in positioning itself as a defense tech investor.

“Our portfolio is national-security adjacent, but not defense-focused,” said Alexander Harstrick, J2’s managing partner. The firm does not invest in technologies that protect critical national infrastructure or help deter attacks, such as drones, robotics, or surveillance tech.

Instead, J2 backs companies whose products help maintain the well-being and healthcare of nearly 3 million people employed by the U.S. military.

Harstrick said that the Department of Defense (DoD) has historically adopted new technologies before they became popular with civilians. And it’s not just the internet, which was partially developed by the military.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs was the first to use telemedicine,” Harstrick said. “They were also the first to adopt electronic health records.”

J2’s healthcare investments include Tasso, a maker of needle-free blood draw tech, and Lumia Health, a wearable device that measures blood flow to the brain.

The firm also backs cybersecurity, infrastructure, and advanced computing startups like Femtosense, a developer of energy-efficient AI chips for smart devices.

J2 backs companies at the pre-seed stage to Series A and writes checks that range from $1 million to $5 million. The firm’s limited partners include JPMorgan and New Mexico State Investment Council.

Harstrick served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before starting J2, he was an investor in the Defense Innovation Unit.