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 that will be used to “turn allied war fighters into invincible technomancers.” The company is now valued at $ 4.6 billion.

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

“We just raised $ 450 million in Series D funding for Anduril,” Luckey said on Twitter. “It is used to turn American and Allied war fighters into invincible technomancers who use 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 games and science fiction, often as some sort of magical wizard with technological improvements.

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

The company said it would be able to use its artificial intelligence platform called Lattice in other locations, such as military bases in the United States, to detect and track instructions from other people and vehicles, including drones.

Elad Gil, who led the funding round, said Thursday that society is not prepared for the growing number of threats and that companies like Anduril can help in a variety of areas, from natural disasters to cyberattacks.

He said Anduril provides “sensor networks, towers, drones and powerful software that tie everything together – potentially using them to protect our troops on the ground, defend our energy infrastructure, fight forest fires, stop human traffickers and create one “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 American troops more lethal. Microsoft, for example, won an army contract worth up to $ 21.9 billion in March to provide US fighters with special versions of its HoloLens augmented reality headsets.

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

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