Palmer Luckey’s tech-focused defense and border protection company Anduril Industries Inc. is setting up shop in Boston and London, the latest sign of growth for the 3-year-old firm, which has already seen its valuation approach $2 billion.
The Irvine-based firm ranks No. 15 on this year’s Business Journal list of top aerospace and defense companies in OC by local employee count, with 220 local employees and 270 companywide. It counted roughly half that number of workers a year ago.
It’s the fastest-growing area defense company, and its expansion—in employee count, office and industrial space, and funding—stands in contrast to what’s being seen at many more established businesses in the industry, where contraction has been the norm in recent years (see list, page 18).
There’s more room to grow, the company tells the Business Journal.
“We expect further growth as Anduril continues to innovate new products with advanced technology like AI, autonomy, sensor fusion, computer vision and edge computing to bring more situational awareness to all domains—land, sea, sky and space,” an Anduril spokesperson said on Aug. 28.
The defense and border surveillance company, founded in 2017, uses a combination of radar sensor-clad surveillance towers, drones and artificial intelligence centered around its Lattice system to monitor large land areas.
Anduril currently has contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.K. Ministry of Defense, as well as other agencies.
Anduril said in a blog post last month, upon opening a new location on the East Coast, that the “Boston area is rich with a deep pool of diverse talent in technology, defense and national security.”
“This Anduril location will be a hub for our growing engineering team including perception, estimation and tracking, and RF (radio frequency) signal processing,” the blog said of the Massachusetts capital.
Anduril had five job postings for Boston as of Aug. 31. The company said it is looking for candidates with strong software engineering skills, expertise in sensor processing and “a deep understanding of national security mission sets and needs.”
Waltham, Mass., a short drive from Boston, is the home of defense giant Raytheon.
Earlier this year, Anduril set up a similarly sized office in Seattle, where another industry behemoth, Boeing, has a huge presence.
The company has also recently announced plans for its first international office in London.
It will “be focused on the growth and support of our international customers,” according to last month’s blog post.
“Anduril Industries U.K. Ltd. is a newly established U.K. entity providing services to the U.K. defense sector,” British aerospace and trade group ADS said in a website posting on July 31. ADS represents companies in the U.K. aerospace, defense, security and space sectors.
“We’re looking for program managers, operations engineers and customer specialists to collaborate directly with our global customers, oversee the end-to-end customer experience and ensure continued customer success,” Anduril said of the new London office.
There were no postings for London as of Aug. 31 on the company’s website.
New hires will work remotely until the conditions around the COVID-19 pandemic have improved, the company said.
Anduril Boston and Anduril London join the Anduril offices in OC, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Anduril plans to expand to more than 315 employees globally by the end of the year, across these five locations, the company said.
Its website listed 37 open positions in Irvine as of Sept. 2.
The company celebrated the Fourth of July with two victories: a major contract win with the Trump administration for border protection reportedly worth “several hundred million dollars,” and the $200 million Series C funding round it raised. That represents a near-doubling of the company’s valuation to $1.9 billion.
The Series C round was led by Menlo Park’s Andreessen Horowitz, a prior investor in the company. Other investors include 8VC, Elad Gil, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, General Catalyst, Human Capital, Lux Capital, and Valor Equity Partners, according to Anduril.
Luckey, 27, is the founder of Oculus VR, a virtual reality headset developer that started in 2012. He sold the then Irvine-based firm to Facebook in 2014 for about $3 billion.