There have been only three unicorns in 35 years in the defense space

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

In 2016, Facebook unceremoniously pushed Palmer Luckey out of the virtual reality startup he founded, Oculus. Then Luckey founded Anduril:

Luckey is now winning billion-dollar Pentagon contracts. One of them is for a counter-drone system based on its “battlefield operating system,” called Lattice. Anduril’s demo video shows one of the company’s sentry surveillance towers detecting a hostile drone and dispatching a small high-speed drone of its own to literally knock the intruder out of the sky. Recently, Anduril acquired a company that makes robot submarines.


Anduril has a valuation of nearly $5 billion, making Luckey a rare founder of two unicorns. He is unusual for a military contractor. Perpetually garbed in a Hawaiian shirt, and occasionally still in cosplay threads, his vibe is much more cheerful hacker. His conservative politics also make him an awkward figure in Silicon Valley. (One of his sisters is married to the right-wing provocateur and congress member Matt Gaetz.)


There have been only three unicorns in 35 years in the defense space: Palantir, SpaceX, and Anduril. All three of those companies were founded by people who had just sold their previous company for billions of dollars.


  1. Pseudo-Chrysostom says:

    His appreciation of Tolkien’s oeuvre is probably not a coincidence.

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