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Anduril Is Reportedly Raising Funding At A $1 Billion+ Valuation

Anduril co-founder Palmer Luckey

Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Web Summit via Sportsfile

According to a CNBC report, Anduril, a defense technology startup founded by Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, which recently got a $13.5 million contract to monitor U.S. marine bases, is raising funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion. CNBC reports famed VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, an already existing backer, is part of the investors in Anduril's new round. Currently, Anduril is known to have raised $41 million in funding, last valued at $250 million according to Pitchbook data.

Anduril is a quite-secretive startup, with no press releases on any funding we can track. However, there's substantial information about its operations available on various news outlets, public government documents, and its own website. Anduril develops border surveillance technology that's used by customers like the U.S. government to secure and track movement in and around environments. Anduril's custom surveillance tech comprises of a custom drone and a surveillance tower whose imagery is analysed by AI to deliver insights. Think of an autonomous system that's used to survey environments and provide feedback to human counterparts, that's Anduril.

Anduril's website boasts of "pioneering life-saving AI platforms for protecting troops, performing search & rescue missions, fighting drug cartels, defending energy resources, combating wild fires, stopping human traffickers and much more", indicating several use cases for its surveillance tech. Anduril was founded by Palmer Luckey, who sold his previous startup, Oculus, to Facebook for $3 billion, alongside alumni from Palantir and Oculus itself. Palantir is another well-known company that's similar to Anduril, with both counting the U.S. Army as a key customer. Palantir co-founders Peter Thiel and Joe Lonsdale, through their respective VC firms Founders Fund and 8VC, are investors in Anduril, making the similarities stretch further.

The amount Anduril raised in this reported round is not known. The Orange County-based startup is jumping into a market for defense contracts at a time several tech giants are facing controversy over such. Last year, Google pulled out from Project Maven, a code-name for an AI project originating from the U.S. Department of Defense, after opposition from several employees. Salesforce, Microsoft and Palantir have also been criticized by some of its employees for its work with government agencies like the U.S. military and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).



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