Shield AI drone units. (Source: Shield AI)

Company Gains Funding for AI Pilot Product to Operate Drones Autonomously

Shield AI, a defense tech startup, has raised an additional $300 million in equity and debt, bringing its total funding in Series F to $500 million, according to a story on Its previous funding includes $200 million in equity closed in November, $100 million in new equity raised at the Series F price, and $200 million in debt. With this funding, Shield AI’s valuation has increased to $2.8 billion from $2.7 billion in November.

The company is focused on building an “AI pilot” that can turn aircraft into autonomous systems. Its flagship product, Hivemind, enables aircraft teams to operate independently without the need for remote operators, communications, or GPS. Shield AI’s CEO and co-founder, Ryan Tseng, attributes the development of this capability to recent advances in AI and computing power. This software-defined strategic deterrent marks a significant paradigm shift in the aerospace and defense industry.

Venture debt, often seen negatively, can be beneficial for late-stage companies like Shield AI, providing the necessary capital for growth and reaching profitability or exit. The company has also recently launched V-BAT Teams, a software product that works in conjunction with Hivemind, allowing teams of V-BAT drones to execute autonomous and coordinated missions.

In testimony before the U.S. Senate, Shield AI’s president and co-founder, Brandon Tseng, emphasized the importance of AI-piloted systems as a military deterrent. He stressed the need to incorporate AI pilots into the structure of the Department of Defense (DOD), highlighting the challenges and the urgent need for bold actions to adapt to evolving warfare scenarios. He stated that AI-piloted systems are crucial for countering small, cheaply built adversary armaments that can incapacitate traditional military arsenals.

Overall, Shield AI’s recent funding success and its development of AI-piloted systems highlight its commitment to advancing technology in the defense industry. With its innovative products and strategic vision, Shield AI aims to provide game-changing technological assets for the defense of the future.