New Component Highlights: Shield AI

After the recent reconstitution of the Prime Unicorn Index, five new components were added. Today, we’ll delve into Shield AI, one of these fresh additions.

Shield AI is a defense technology company that specializes in building intelligent systems to protect service members and civilians. The company’s mission is to revolutionize battlefields and commercial aviation with AI pilots that can power every military asset, including aircraft, drones, ships, satellites, and submarines. Shield AI was founded in 2015 by Brandon Tseng, Ryan Tseng, and Andrew Reiter, who saw an opportunity to build an aerospace and defense technology company focused on AI pilots. The lack of software and AI engineering talent from large defense primes presented an opportunity to start fresh and build the aerospace and defense technology company of the 21st century.

Shield AI has developed an AI pilot that is capable of executing group 2 to group 5 mission sets, making it the most tactical and logistically simple VTOL aircraft in the world. The company’s technology has been used to execute autonomous missions, such as the recent execution of a mission by a three V-BAT team, with the team size expected to double yearly. Shield AI leverages deep reinforcement learning to train its AI pilots, which involves using a realistic simulation environment to run hundreds of simulations per hour to acquire enough data to learn complex behaviors despite potentially sparse reward signals.

Shield AI has raised $570.53 million over eight rounds. Its most recent round was a $199.19 million Series F round on September 13, 2023, at $43.79 per preferred share, which valued the company at $2.4 billion on a post-money valuation basis. Investors include Level Ventures, JVH Ventures, Point72, Bloomberg Beta, Andreessen Horowitz, and others.

See how Shield AI has performed against the Prime Unicorn Index below.