Protect AI raises $35 million to help organizations build safer AI

Protect AI has closed a $35 million Series A round of funding led by Evolution Equity Partners with participation from Salesforce Ventures and existing investors Acrew Capital, boldstart ventures, Knollwood Capital and Pelion Ventures.

To date, the company has raised a total of $48.5M to help organizations protect ML systems and AI applications from unique security vulnerabilities, data breaches and emerging threats.

Protect AI will use the new financing to scale sales and marketing, go to market activities, R&D, and customer success initiatives. The company also announced that Richard Seewald, Founder and Managing Partner at Evolution Equity Partners has joined the Protect AI Board of Directors. He brings more than three decades of investment, operational and entrepreneurial experience in cybersecurity, enterprise software and data analytics to the Board.

“Despite the sheer magnitude of the AI/ML security challenge, none of the industry’s largest cybersecurity vendors currently offer a solution to this problem,” said Richard Seewald, Founder and Managing Partner at Evolution Equity Partners. “Protect AI’s founders have built and managed the largest AI/ML businesses in the world for AWS and Oracle, and have assembled one of the most accomplished teams I’ve seen in a startup. The company has the vision, technology and expertise to capture a lion’s share of this new market category.”

Even the most advanced companies in the world don’t keep a detailed inventory of every asset and element used in their ML systems. This is due to the explosive growth in supply chain assets such as foundational models and external, third-party training data sets, and because traditional security tools lack visibility into the dynamic nature of ML systems and data workflows.

In addition, most organizations lack the skills and resources to detect the threats and vulnerabilities in the ML Supply chain. This blindspot creates unique AI security challenges and exposes organizations to risks that span regulatory compliance, PII leakages, data manipulation, model poisoning, infrastructure protection, and reputational risk.

Protect AI has built a platform called AI Radar that helps organizations build safer AI by providing AI developers, ML engineers, and AppSec professionals a way to see, know, and manage an ML environment. AI Radar enables customers to quickly identify and remediate risks, and maintain a strong security posture for ML systems and AI applications.

“AI applications are being deployed at an extraordinary and unprecedented rate across all industries and business functions, with virtually no visibility and oversight into the assets being used in their ML systems. Protect AI provides new and innovative solutions, like AI Radar, that enable organizations to build, deploy, and manage safer AI by monitoring, detecting and remediating security vulnerabilities and threats in real-time,” said Ian Swanson, CEO of Protect AI.

“This new funding will provide the resources to help us scale Protect AI and capitalize on the significant market opportunity in front of us. We are pleased to welcome Richard to our board, and both Evolution Equity Partners and Salesforce Ventures as new investors,” added Swanson.

How AI Radar works

AI Radar empowers organizations to deploy safer AI by assessing the security of their ML supply chain and quickly identifying and mitigating risks. It offers AI developers, ML engineers, and AppSec professionals the ability to “See, Know, and Manage” their ML with the following capabilities:

Real-time visibility: AI Radar’s visualization layer provides real-time insights into an ML system’s attack surface, encompassing ML operations tools, platforms, models, data, services, cloud infrastructure, and other supply chain assets.

Immutable ML Bill of Materials: Automatically generates and updates a secure, dynamic ML Bill of Materials (MLBOM) that tracks all components and dependencies in the ML system. This ensures complete visibility and auditability in the AI/ML supply chain. Unlike traditional software bill of materials (SBOM), the MLBOM includes immutable time-stamped records of AI/ML environments, capturing any policy violations with clear information as to what, when and who made changes.

Pipeline and model security: Implements continuous integrated security checks to proactively safeguard ML environments from data and secrets leakages, and vulnerabilities that could lead to data poisoning, and other AI security risks. AI Radar utilizes Protect AI’s integrated model scanning tools for LLMs and other ML inference workloads to automatically detect security policy violations, model vulnerabilities, and malicious code injection attacks. It also integrates with third-party AppSec and CI/CD orchestration tools, and model robustness frameworks.

“eGroup has provided security leadership for digital transformation in nearly every industry for over twenty years. As we help customers prepare for the next phase of their digital transformation journey enabled by AI, we are excited to see Protect AI develop the platform that helps keep an organization’s models, data, and code safe and secure,” said Mike Carter, CEO of eGroup | Enabling Technologies. “Helping businesses scale and adopt AI swiftly and safely with Protect AI’s offerings ensures customers of all sizes can take advantage of the benefits of AI without introducing new risks to their operations, technology stacks, and reputation.”

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