Anduril Industries, a defense technology startup, just secured $1.48 billion in Series E funding, raising its total valuation to $8.48 billion.
Anduril was founded in 2017 by Brian Schimpf and Palmer Luckey, a designer of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. The company develops artificial intelligence and software for defense contracts in a way that claims to reinvent traditional security measures. At the beginning of 2022, Anduril signed a billion-dollar contract with Special Operations Command, a United States Department of Defense division.
The company’s new round of funding will go towards research and development for the counter-unmanned aerial systems platforms being prototyped. The project is led by American Rheinmetall Vehicles with the goal of eventually creating a vehicle that will replace the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle used by the United States Army.
"Anduril is building software-defined and hardware-enabled capabilities that solve mission needs with autonomy today," Anduril said in a press statement. "Autonomous systems will enable the military to operate faster and at greater scale across both tactical and strategic operations."
Anduril's key investor since its inception, Valor Equity Partners, led the latest round of fundraising. Behind them were fellow investors Founders Fund, Thrive Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Lachy Groom, 8VC, General Catalyst, Lux Capital, WCM Investment Management, Human Capital, DFJ Growth, Elad Gil, MVP Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures, Marlinspike, and the United States Innovative Technology Fund.
Anduril has beat the odds, according to Washington Technology, which calls Series E funding "the business version of the 'Valley of Death'" due to the level of difficulty in this stage of the funding process. Usually, Series A funding is used to pay employees and create a marketing strategy, according to Defense News. Only after a company is able to stand on its own for up to two years can it begin Series B funding. From there, funding rounds can occur as often as six months apart. Only 65% of companies make it to Series B funding, according to data from SPD Load.