Startup News: Defense tech firm Shield AI attracts additional $300 million 

Investors are putting their dollars behind Shield AI’s efforts to develop artificial-intelligence pilots for military aircrafts.

In late October, Shield AI announced that it had raised $200 million in an oversubscribed Series F funding round. And in late December, the San Diego-based company announced a $300 million expansion of its Series F round to a total of $500 million. The fresh funding consists of an additional $100 million in equity and $200 million in debt from Hercules Capital.

In a statement accompanying Shield AI’s press release, Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s president and co-founder said that “the defense and investment communities are seeing the profound impact AI pilots will have on national security and global stability.”

Shield AI’s signature product, Hivemind, is an AI pilot that enables teams of intelligent aircraft to operate and complete missions autonomously. The company, which was founded in 2015, had a valuation of $2.71 billion as of December 2023.

Aqua Security achieves Unicorn status with additional funding

Aqua Security, a company that helps businesses oversee their data in the cloud, recently announced that it has secured an additional $60 million in funding, bringing the company’s valuation to over $1 billion.

According to a company press release issued last week, the new funding was led by new investor Evolution Equity Partners, with additional participation from existing investors Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and StepStone Group. The funding, which was an extension of the company’s Series E round, places Aqua’s valuation above $1 billion.

Since its founding in 2015, Aqua Security says that more than 500 companies worldwide have adopted Aqua’s cloud security software. Aqua serves six of the top 10 banks in North America, and six of the top seven banks in Canada, making it the leading cloud security provider for the financial services industry.

Miso Robotics will power world’s first fully autonomous restaurant

Customers at the soon-to-be-opened CaliExpress by Flippy restaurant in Pasadena, Calif. will encounter a novel dining experience. They will get the chance to watch their food being cooked robotically, courtesy of Miso Robotics, a company on the cutting-edge of restaurant robotics.

Last month, Miso Robotics announced that it was partnering with Cali Group, a retail tech company, and PopID, a company that uses biometrics to simplify ordering and payments, to create the new restaurant. 

“Utilizing the most advanced systems in food technology, both grill and fry stations are fully automated, powered by proprietary leading-edge artificial intelligence and robotics,” according to Miso Robotics

These various technologies will enable CaliExpress by Flippy to deliver freshly made burgers based on a wagyu blend at price points competitive with other premium burgers using standard meat. Miso Robotics’ grill robot will grind the high quality beef once the order is placed.

Founded in 2016, Pasadena-based Miso Robotics has a valuation, as of November 2022, of $493 million.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

Please Read These Important Legal Notices & Disclosures

The information and material presented in this article is provided for your informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer by Forge Global, Inc., Forge Securities LLC or any of its affiliates (collectively, "Forge") to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or sale of securities. An offer or solicitation can be made only through the delivery of final offering document(s) and purchase agreement and will be subject to the terms and conditions and risks delivered in such documents.

To the extent information about or defining specific terms is provided herein, Forge makes no representations as to its accuracy and has no duty to update such information. Such information is based on Forge’s experience and the meanings and connotations of terms as Forge typically uses and interprets them. Others may construe such terms differently, and you should do your own research and consult with financial, legal and tax professionals regarding any such concepts included herein.

This article does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. Registered representatives of Forge Securities LLC do not (1) advise any member on the merits or prudence of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax, or transactional advisory services. Securities referenced in this article may be offered by Forge Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.

Forge Securities LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forge Global, Inc. Certain affiliates may act as principals in such transactions. Forge Data LLC is an affiliate of Forge Global, Inc. and Forge Securities LLC.

Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative, involving a high degree of risk, and investors should be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks and investors should conduct their own, independent due diligence regarding the investment, including obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections and legal or investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment. Past performance Is not indicative of future results.