HiddenLayer, a cybersecurity startup focused on protecting artificial intelligence systems, has raised $50 million in Series A funding. The round, which marks the largest early stage raise this year for an AI security company, was led by Microsoft’s venture fund M12 and Moore Strategic Ventures. It attracted participation from a slew of industry leaders, including Booz Allen Ventures, IBM Ventures, Capital One Ventures, and Ten Eleven Ventures.
The Austin-based startup will leverage the capital injection to expand its team, boost sales and marketing efforts, and advance its Machine Learning Security (MLSec) Platform.
Founded in 2022 by former Cylance security experts, HiddenLayer emerged from stealth mode after its founders experienced an adversary launch a real-world attack on one of Cylance's machine learning models. The attack exposed vulnerabilities in AI systems and motivated the team to build defenses tailored to this new threat landscape.
Over the last year, HiddenLayer has made its mark on the AI security landscape. The company not only increased its headcount nearly fourfold but also garnered recognition as a Most Promising Early-Stage Startup by SC Media and a Most Innovative Startup at the RSA Conference. Moreover, the company has been proactive in establishing alliances with Intel and Databricks, positioning itself as a trusted solution for Fortune 100 companies across various industries such as finance, government and defense, and cybersecurity.
Their MLSec Platform offers a comprehensive security suite aimed at protecting AI from a broad range of vulnerabilities, including adversarial attacks and malicious code injections. The MLSec line-up features their flagship Machine Learning Detection and Response (MLDR) product, designed to provide real-time, software-based monitoring of AI algorithm inputs and outputs, offering agile response options like alerting and isolation. The cumulative effect is a multi-pronged, nuanced approach to AI security, filling a crucial gap in the rapidly expanding AI landscape.
Demand for these kinds of solutions is on the rise as AI adoption accelerates. Research commissioned by HiddenLayer found 96% of companies view machine learning as critical, yet most rely on manual processes to secure models. The majority want to invest in automated ML security tools over the next year.
"AI's unparalleled rate of adoption fuels us to move even faster in achieving our mission to give every organization the right tools and expertise to leverage AI securely," said HiddenLayer Co-founder and CEO, Chris Sestito.
As artificial intelligence weaves deeper into business operations, proactive security will prove instrumental in realizing AI's transformative potential while minimizing risks. With its seasoned team and strong early momentum, HiddenLayer is poised to advance at the forefront of this vital new security domain.