Defence technology company Shield AI has successfully increased its valuation to $2.3bn by securing additional investments as part of the Series E fundraising round.

The company has raised around $165m, which includes $90m in equity and $75m in debt.

Following the latest funding, Shield AI has now joined Palantir, SpaceX and Anduril as the multi-billion-dollar defence-tech start-ups in the past two decades.

The Series E fundraising round was led by Snowpoint Ventures’ Doug Philippone, who is also Palantir’s global defence lead since 2008.

Other participants were Disruptive, Shield AI’s Series D lead, Riot Ventures and Homebrew, which is Shield AI’s seed round lead.

The company’s previous lead investors were SVB Capital, Point72, Breyer Capital and Andreesen Horowitz.

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Proceeds from the funding round will be used to advance the development of Shield AI’s Hivemind software, an AI pilot for commercial and military aircraft.

Shield AI’s Hivemind software allows the aircrew to perform a range of missions including penetrating air defence systems, room clearance and dogfighting F-16 aircraft.

Hivemind also enables full autonomy on aircraft, designed to run on the edge, in high threat and disconnected from cloud, GPS and communication-degraded environments. 

Shield AI co-founder and CEO Ryan Tseng said: “Russia and China are jamming GPS and communications.

“US and allied forces need swarms of resilient systems flown by AI pilots to operate in these denied environments. We call it low-cost, distributed strategic deterrence.

“Distributed swarms are also more survivable than traditional strategic assets such as an aircraft carrier (which is a high-cost, centralised strategic deterrent).”

The company’s hardware products include a small-uncrewed aircraft system (sUAS), Nova; and the medium-size vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS, the V-BAT.

Nova already has Hivemind integrated onboard and has also been deployed in combat since 2018.

Shield AI is now planning to integrate the technology with V-BAT uncrewed aircraft to further enhance its capabilities.