Danti’s natural language search engine for Earth data soars with $5M in new funding

Danti, an artificial intelligence company building a superpower search engine for Earth data, has brought on prominent defensive tech investor Shield Capital as it looks to scale its technology for government customers.

Founded by Jesse Kallman in early 2023, Danti has developed a natural language search engine for data that has historically been highly siloed, like satellite imagery, collating it with other commercial and government sources to report back across multiple sources and domains.

For example, an analyst can pose a complex question in simple language, like “What are the latest tank movements in Eastern Ukraine?” and receive in turn straightforward answers collated across data sources.

The idea is to empower a single analyst to do more, Kallman said in a recent interview. While American adversaries are throwing manpower at the problem of analyzing huge amounts of data, Danti aims to help “one analyst do the work of 10 or 15,” he said. It means that a relatively straightforward question — where is a particular ship off the coast of Lagos, Nigeria, for example — can potentially be answered in seconds, rather than hours.

“We’re not replacing the analysts,” Kallman clarified. “We’re helping them do their work way faster, so that they can get to the part that humans are way better at, which is synthesizing and deciding, ‘What do I now do about this information? How do I want to report on it?’ “

Among the startup’s early customers is the U.S. Space Force, which is using Danti’s product to help officers easily search and share data. The use of natural language models in the search engine means an intuitive, straightforward user experience; no doubt this is paramount in high pressure situations where analysts must make complex decisions, but have little time to trawl through reams of satellite or drone data.

Right now, Danti is squarely focused on government, though in the longer term it plans to roll out a version of its product for commercial industry. This version would focus on property records, parcel information, and risk data, to serve markets like electric utilities and insurance, Kallman said. Customers will also be able to connect their own information into Danti’s engine to use its natural language processing to query their own data.

The $5 million round was led by Shield Capital and includes participation from the startup’s existing investors Tech Square Ventures, Humba Ventures and Leo Polovets, Space.VC, and Radius Capital. Kallman said the startup looked deliberately for a defense-focused fund to lead their next round, particularly as the company looks to execute its government go-to-market plan and scale its engineering team.

Since last summer, when the company announced its $2.75 million pre-seed, the team has grown to over twenty people, and Kallman said the engineering team will grow even more with the new injection of funds.

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