Following successful funding rounds for German defense tech firms ARX and Helsing, Shield AI, a U.S. defense technology company renowned for its cutting-edge AI pilot technology, has secured an additional $100 million in Series F funding and $200 million in debt from Hercules Capital. This, combined with the previously raised $200 million, brings the total investment in the ongoing Series F round to $500 million.
This infusion of capital propels Shield AI's valuation to $2.8 billion, up from $2.7 billion in November 2023. The company aims to utilize these funds to expedite the deployment of its AI pilots across various aircraft classes.
Founded in San Diego in 2015 by Andrew Reiter, Brandon Tseng, and Ryan Tseng, Shield AI has pioneered the development of Hivemind, an AI pilot enabling intelligent aircraft to autonomously operate in high-threat environments without the need for remote operators, command inputs, or GPS. Recently, the company introduced V-BAT Teams, a software product designed to collaborate with Hivemind, empowering teams of V-BAT drones to execute missions autonomously and in coordination.
Similar to self-driving cars, Hivemind leverages state-of-the-art algorithms for planning, mapping, and state estimation, allowing aircraft to perform dynamic flight maneuvers. Reinforcement learning is employed for the discovery, learning, and execution of winning tactics and strategies. Hivemind has demonstrated its capabilities with various aircraft, including quadcopters, the MQ-35A, V-BAT, and the F-16.
Ryan Tseng, CEO, and co-founder of Shield AI, highlighted the strategic significance of AI pilots as a conventional deterrent in the aerospace and defense realm. He noted the paradigm shift brought about by advances in AI and computing power, describing AI pilots as the first software-defined strategic deterrent in the aerospace and defense sector.