Protect AI Raises $13.5 Million in Seed Financing; Plans to Bolster Product Development for a Safer AI Revolution

There is no end to what all human beings can do, and yet there is little we do better than growing on a consistent basis. This tendency to improve under all possible circumstances has notably fetched us some huge milestones, with technology appearing as a rather unique member of the group. The main reason why technology’s credentials are so anomalous is based on its skill-set, which was unprecedented enough to realize all the possibilities for us that nobody could have ever imagined otherwise. Nonetheless, if we take up a slightly deeper look, it should become clear how the whole runner was also very much inspired by the way we applied those skills across a real-world environment. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, and consequentially, kickstarted a tech revolution. This revolution, as we discovered, will go on to scale up the human experience from every conceivable direction, but even after achieving such a monumental feat, technology will somehow continue bringing all the right goods to the table. The same has turned increasingly evident in recent times, and truth be told, a new piece of funding does a lot to make that trend bigger and better moving forward.

Protect AI, a cybersecurity company focused on the security of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems, has successfully secured over $13.5 million in seed financing. Co-led by Acrew Capital and Boldstart Ventures, the round saw further participation coming from the likes of Knollwood Capital, Pelion Ventures, and Aviso Ventures. According to certain reports, the company will use the newly-raised cash to bolster product development. Apart from that, it will also dedicate a good chunk of the money towards expanding its customer outreach. Founded in 2022, Protect AI started out with a sole intention of optimizing the raging growth of artificial intelligence from a security standpoint, and therefore, making the technology more secure against any potential attacks. To achieve this goal, the company, alongside the funding, also announced the launch of its first product called NB Defense, which is designed to address vulnerabilities in a core component used at the beginning of the machine learning supply chain i.e. Jupyter Notebooks. With millions of Jupyter Notebooks currently in use, it gives threat actors a pretty big surface for attack. What’s more is that, despite the high stakes and the problem’s pervasive nature, most existing security code scanning solutions are still incompatible with Jupyter notebooks. Hence, NB Defense tries to bridge that gap by effectively scanning the stated notebooks for security risks, and if it detects anything malicious, the product is also able to deliver timely remediation suggestions.

“I have seen more than one hundred thousand customers deploy AI/ML systems, and realized they introduce a new and unique security threat surface that today’s cybersecurity solutions in the market do not address,” said Ian Swanson, co-founder and CEO of Protect AI. “This is why we founded Protect AI. ML developers and security teams need new tools, processes, and methods that secure their AI systems. Since nearly all ML code begins with a notebook, we thought that’s the most logical place to start so that we can accelerate a needed industry transition.”

Beyond the much-talked about Jupyter notebooks, though, Protect AI’s technology is understood to have optimal utility for collaborating with other AI development tools, such as Amazon SageMaker, Azure ML, Google Vertex AI Workbench, and more.

Although it’s still pre-revenue, Protect AI states that it has already secured “enterprises in the Fortune 500” across verticals like finance, healthcare and life sciences, energy, gaming, as well as e-commerce.

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