Anduril turns US troops into ‘invincible technomancers’, says Palmer Luckey

Anduril founder Palmer Luckey announced Thursday that his startup has raised an additional $ 450 million in funding, which will be used to “turn allied warriors into invincible techno-bosses.” The company is now valued at $ 4.6 billion.

Luckey is best known for selling Oculus to Facebook in 2014 for $ 2 billion before being fired in 2017 amid controversy over his political donations and financial support for far-right groups. But his announcement of the new financing was unusual.

“We just raised $ 450 million in Series D funding for Anduril,” Luckey said on Twitter. “It will be used to turn American and allied fighters into invincible techno-masters who wield the power of autonomous systems to safely accomplish their mission. Our future roadmap will blow your mind, stay tuned!

Technomancers sometimes appear in postmodern role-playing video games and science fiction, often as some kind of magical wizard with technological enhancements.

Anduril Technologies is a defense company that, among other things, provides border control technology, including towers with cameras and infrared sensors that use artificial intelligence to track movement, in states like Texas and California.

The company said it is capable of deploying its artificial intelligence platform, called Lattice, elsewhere, such as military bases in the US to help detect and track instructions from other people and vehicles, including drones.

Elad Gil, who led the funding round, said Thursday that society is unprepared for the growing number of threats and that companies like Anduril can help in a multitude of areas, from natural disasters to cyberattacks.

He said Anduril provides “networks of sensors, towers, drones and powerful software that ties it all together, whose potential uses include protecting our troops at the base, defending our energy infrastructure, fighting forest fires, stopping human traffickers, creating a “virtual border” (a rare bipartisan idea) and the fight against drug cartels. Many of these potential uses can directly save lives. “

Other tech companies are working to make US troops more deadly. Microsoft, for example, won a contract with the military in March worth up to $ 21.9 billion to provide special versions of its HoloLens augmented reality headsets to American fighters.

Andreessen Horowitz, 8VC, Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Lux Capital, Valor Equity Partners and D1 Capital participated in the round.

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