In June 2017, Palmer Luckey, then 24, saw his new company Anduril Industries file to become incorporated with the state.
The defense technology company—which in state filings simply said it was a maker of “integrated hardware and software solutions”—initially had its headquarters at a nondescript office park in Irvine near John Wayne Airport.
“We are spending more than ever on defense technology, yet the pace of innovation has been slowing for decades,” Luckey said in a New York Times interview shortly after the company’s existence became known.
Five years and two headquarters moves later, Anduril’s anything but slow moving.
With several large contract wins to its name, a local employee base quickly approaching 1,000, and the largest new office campus Orange County’s seen in ages, Luckey’s firm, which makes AI-powered sentry towers, drones and other surveillance and defense products, is said to be seeking a new fundraise that national reports say will value the upstart firm around $7 billion.
The new headquarters give Anduril plenty of room to grow; well over 3,000 employees could eventually work at the campus.
What’s more, its location in OC gives it a decided advantage in attracting talent from across the county, compared to other tech markets like San Francisco and Silicon Valley, company officials said last week, while giving the Business Journal a tour of Anduril’s still-under-construction campus in Costa Mesa.
Anduril is among the fastest-growing companies in America, but there’s plenty more fast growers in Orange County, as this week’s iteration of the Business Journal’s annual OC50 listing shows.
This year’s OC50: The Fast 50 theme highlights 50 area companies and their executives—nearly 70 people in total—who are expanding rapidly by a variety of metrics, including revenue growth, area hiring, local development, and fundraising success.
More than 10,000 new local jobs are either currently being filled or expected to be filled in the not-too-distant-future, because of the work the Fast 50 are undertaking.
Keep a close eye on this week’s edition. The future’s coming fast, and these local businesses are leading the way.