Helm.ai Raises Series C Round for Self Learning AI for Autonomous Vehicles

Helm.ai plans to use its latest $55 million to continue development and productization of its technology.


Helm.ai demonstrates pedestrian segmentation and keypoint detection.
Helm.ai has raised money from investors including Freeman Group, Honda, and Goodyear to continue research, development, and productization of its AI for self-driving vehicles and robots.

The convergence of artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous vehicles is still drawing investor interest. Helm.ai this week announced that it has raised $55 million in Series C funding. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company said it has raised a total of $102 million to date.

Helm.ai said in a release that it plans to use its latest financing for research and development, productization of its self-driving technologies, and to further execute on engagements with customers and partners in the automotive and robotics sectors.

“Our Deep Teaching technology allows us to quickly deliver best-in-class AI software to OEMs and Tier 1s in a hardware-agnostic fashion, accelerating their time to market and enabling their path to software differentiation with high-end ADAS and L4 systems,” said Vlad Voroninski, CEO of Helm.ai. “This new capital will increase our AI offerings for autonomous driving and robotics applications and expand the commercialization footprint of our cutting-edge AI software stack.”

Helm.ai builds AI for autonomous systems

Helm.ai claimed that it is building the next generation of AI software for advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS), SAE Level 4 autonomous driving, and robotics. Founded in 2016, the company asserted that it “has re-envisioned the way AI software is built to make truly scalable autonomous driving a reality.”

The funding round occurred “during a paradigm shift in the autonomous vehicle sector, as an increasing number of competing autonomous driving companies falter due to subpar technological and market positioning, making room for next-generation technologies and more robust commercialization approaches toward L4 via the high-end ADAS market,” said Helm.ai.

The company said its generalized, hardware-agnostic approach to AI for autonomous systems puts it in a good position to grow its number of customers.

Freeman Group supports serial entrepreneur

Freeman Group led Helm.ai's Series C round, with participation from venture capital firms ACVC Partners and Amplo, as well as strategic investments from Honda Motor, Goodyear Ventures, and Sungwoo Hitech. Freeman Group has now invested in three ventures associated with Voroninski.

Prior to co-founding Helm.ai in 2016, he was chief scientist at Sift Security, a cybersecurity machine learning startup seeded by Freeman Group and acquired in 2018 by Netskope. It claimed to be the fastest-growing private cybersecurity company in the world, valued at $7.5 billion.

Freeman Group, which has also invested in Helm.ai's Series B round, is a private investment and asset management firm founded by serial entrepreneur and investor Brandon Freeman, who is joining the Helm.ai board of directors as part of this financing.

“Vlad was an integral part of Sift Security's early success and has led Helm.ai's growth and development effectively by delivering breakthrough AI software that the automotive sector is rapidly embracing,” stated Freeman. “Freeman Group couldn't be more excited to have led Helm.ai's Series C round, and we will continue supporting the company's rapid growth under Vlad's leadership.”

Startup to exhibit at upcoming events

Helm.ai said it plans to explain its strategy, conduct demonstrations, and seek employees at the following events:

  • IAA Mobility Summit, from Sept. 5 to 8, at Booth E12 in Hall B3 of the Munich Exhibition Center in Munich, Germany
  • TechCrunch Disrupt, from Sept. 19 to 21 at Booth H14 of Moscone West in San Francisco

At Disrupt on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 2:40 p.m. PST, Helm.ai will discuss on the AI Stage “Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Robotics, AI, and Self-Driving Cars.” It said experts will provide context and insights on a variety of topics, including pure-play L4 and ADAS-first approaches for self-driving cars.

The speakers will also discuss the proliferation of AI-driven development beyond the automotive field, including mining, drones, and the path toward robotics automation at large, said Helm.ai.

Helm.ai said it is "building the next generation of AI technology for automation, re-envisioning the way neural networks learn to understand the real world to make AI-based applications cost-effective, scalable, and profoundly powerful."

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Helm.ai demonstrates pedestrian segmentation and keypoint detection.

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