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Shield AI, a startup focused on creating autonomous flying systems for the U.S. military and its allies, has successfully raised a staggering $200M in new funding. This propels the company’s valuation to an impressive $2.7B.

  • Background: Founded in 2015, Shield AI is scaling up rapidly. The fresh funding will aid its expansion.
  • Investors: The latest funding round enjoyed contributions from previous investors, the U.S. Innovation Technology Fund (USIT) and Riot Ventures, as well as new investor ARK Invest, the investment management firm founded by Cathie Wood.
  • Previous Funding: The company’s fundraising success isn’t new. Previous Series E and Series D saw totals of $225M and $210M-$300M, respectively.
  • Product Offering: Shield AI’s key offering is called Hivemind, an AI pilot software that enables drones and aircraft to function autonomously, even in the absence of GPS.
  • Acquisitions: Shield AI recently acquired Martin UAV, which developed the V-Bat drones which have a drone-swarming capability dubbed V-Bat Teams. This allows one human operator to command a minimum of four V-Bat drones.
  • Talks with Pentagon: The startup’s tech, which doesn’t require GPS or communication due to its adaptability, is increasingly appealing to the Pentagon in the face of sophisticated counter-drone technology.
  • Funding Use: The latest influx of capital comes amid rising investor interest in defense technology startups, driven by increased geopolitical tensions and the race to maintain technological superiority.

In a statement, Riot Ventures co-founder and general partner Stephen Marcus compared Shield AI’s technology with Tesla’s self-driving stack, highlighting its trainability and adaptability to various missions. Shield AI continues to push the boundaries, aiming to integrate Hivemind into uncrewed fighter jets and other aircraft.

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