Shield AI has secured $165 million in a round of Series E financing and will use the capital to advance the development of its artificial intelligence pilot for military and commercial aircraft.
Venture funds including Riot Ventures, Disruptive and Homebrew participated in the funding round led by Doug Philippone, co-founder of Snowpoint Ventures and global defense lead at Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR), Shield AI said Thursday.
Hivemind software is a Shield AI-built AI pilot that uses algorithms for planning and mapping to enable aircraft to carry out flight maneuvers, enables full autonomy and adopts reinforcement learning to discover, learn and execute strategies and tactics. The technology can be used to penetrate air defense systems and perform room clearance and other missions.
Shield AI has integrated Hivemind onboard its small unmanned aircraft system, Nova, with plans to incorporate the software platform with V-BAT, its vertical take-off and landing UAS.
Brandon Tseng, co-founder and president of Shield AI, said the company considers AI-piloted swarms of systems operating in communication-denied environments as “low-cost, distributed strategic deterrence.”
“Distributed swarms are also more survivable than traditional strategic assets like an aircraft carrier (which is a high-cost, centralized strategic deterrent). Every ally is modernizing their military, and they’re looking at how AI-piloted aircraft can give them a strategic, tactical, and cost advantage,” Tseng added.
The Series E funding round consists of $90 million in equity and $75 million in debt and brings Shield AI’s valuation to $2.3 billion.