Seattle cybersecurity startup that aims to protect machine learning-based code lands $13.5M – GeekWire

Protect AI CEO and co-founder Ian Swanson. (Protect AI Photo)

Protect AI, a Seattle startup that sells cybersecurity tech tailor-made to code that powers synthetic intelligence and machine studying packages, emerged from stealth mode and introduced $13.5 million in seed funding.

The firm’s first product is NB Defense, which works to handle vulnerabilities in Jupyter Notebooks, an open-sourced net software for creating and sharing computational paperwork that is utilized in machine learning-based environments.

“The downside that we’re fixing is that code shouldn’t be code because it relates to machine studying,” CEO and co-founder Ian Swanson instructed GeekWire. “Machine studying code and instruments are completely different. And subsequently they’re really not coated by our conventional cybersecurity firms.”

As firms are deploying AI and machine studying throughout all points of their enterprise, they want a software that can scour by way of code to discover something that’s doubtlessly malicious or compromising, Swanson stated.

In the standard cybersecurity house, there are giant gamers akin to Snyk, which helps builders find potential safety dangers of their code. Swanson stated that Protect AI can be among the many first startups that focuses particularly on machine studying and AI code.

A problem with being a first-mover within the house, he added, can be convincing data safety execs that their current options don’t work past conventional code.

Protect AI will work in Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Serivces.

This is Swanson’s third startup. His first firm was Sometrics, a digital forex platform and in-game funds supplier. It was acquired by American Express in 2011. After that, he based, a cloud workspace platform that was acquired by Oracle in 2018. Swanson additionally held AI management roles at AWS and Oracle.

Swanson co-founded Protect AI with Badar Ahmed, a former engineering chief at Oracle and DataScience, and Daryan Dehghanpisheh, a former chief at AWS.

Protect AI has 15 staff and expects to rent two extra folks by the top of the yr.

The spherical was co-led by Acrew Capital and Boldstart Ventures. Acrew founding accomplice Mark Kraynak and Boldstart founding accomplice Ed Sim will be a part of the Protect AI board. Other traders embrace Knollwood Capital, Pelion Ventures, Avisio Ventures, Shlomo Kramer, Nir Polak, and Dimitri Sirota.

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