Protect AI Raises $35 Million to Build Suite of AI-Defending Tools

Protect AI, a startup focused on enhancing the security around AI systems, recently announced that it successfully raised $35 million in a Series A funding round. The round was led by Evolution Equity Partners, with participation from notable investors such as Salesforce Ventures and Acrew Capital. The funding brings Protect AI’s total raised amount to $48.5 million.

The capital raised will be used to further strengthen the capabilities of Protect AI’s platform, expand their research efforts, and launch new open-source projects. CEO Ian Swanson expressed optimism about the future, stating that the funding provides them with enough resources to weather challenges for years to come. The company also plans to increase its workforce from 25 to 40 employees by the end of the year.

Founded by Ian Swanson and Daryan Dehghanpisheh in 2022, Protect AI aims to address the potential risks associated with AI systems. Swanson explained that their mission is to build a safer AI-powered world by helping customers in sensitive industries, such as finance and healthcare, identify and mitigate AI security vulnerabilities.

Protect AI offers a range of services to address security weak points in AI systems. Their flagship tool, AI Radar, provides visibility into the components used to build an AI model and generates a machine learning bill of materials (MLBOM). By scanning MLBOMs, AI Radar can identify vulnerabilities and risks in the AI and machine learning supply chain.

In addition to AI Radar, Protect AI offers tools to mitigate specific types of AI attacks, such as prompt injection attacks. They also provide scanning services for Jupyter Notebook files, a popular platform for AI model development, to identify common issues and vulnerabilities.

The company faces competition in the AI-defending security tools space, but it has managed to secure high-profile customers in industries such as finance, healthcare, life sciences, and energy.

Protect AI’s funding success reflects the growing importance of AI security as AI becomes more widely adopted. As AI systems are deployed in sensitive sectors, there is an increasing need to address potential security risks. Protect AI aims to be at the forefront of ensuring the security and integrity of AI systems.