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Anduril building ‘invincible technomancers’ for U.S. troops


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

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

“We just raised $450M in Series D funding for Anduril,” Luckey said on Twitter. “It will be used to turn American and allied warfighters into invincible technomancers who wield the power of autonomous systems to safely accomplish their mission.  Our future roadmap is going to blow you away, stay tuned!

Technomancers sometimes appear in post-modern role-playing video games and in science fiction, often as sort of magical wizard-like people with technology 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’s capable of deploying its artificial intelligence platform, called Lattice, in other places, like military bases in the U.S. to help detect and track instructions by other people and vehicles, including drones.

Elad Gil, who led the funding round, said Thursday that society isn’t prepared 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 “sensor networks, towers, drones, and powerful software that ties it all together — whose potential uses include protecting our troops on base, defending our energy infrastructure, combating wildfires, stopping human traffickers, creating a “virtual border” (a rare bipartisan idea), and fighting drug cartels. Many of these potential uses can directly save lives.”

Other tech companies are working to make American troops more lethal. Microsoft, for example, won an Army contract in March worth up to $21.9 billion to provide special versions of its HoloLens augmented reality headsets to U.S. fighters.

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

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