The technology sector was moving lower Tuesday, taking with it a host of hot stocks that had been riding Wall Street’s enthusiasm for the artificial-intelligence revolution.

But one small name was standing out in a big way in a sea of mostly red: Shares of Airship AI Holdings Inc.

were rocketing 85% in the afternoon, after the sensor and data-management company said it received a U.S. Department of Justice contract.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company uses AI to help law-enforcement, defense, and public-sector customers harness data. Airship’s “large” contract with a DOJ agency is for the company’s “video and data-management platform supporting emerging public-safety and investigative requirements,” according to a release.

Paul Allen, the company’s president, said in the release that Airship AI has a “strong pipeline” for the year.

Airship AI is still a tiny company, with a market capitalization of about $83 million if the current surge carries through to the close. The company went public in December through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company.

A June 2023 presentation on Airship’s investor-relations site says the company generated $14.5 million in revenue during 2022, with a 58% gross margin and “positive” earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda.

Airship’s letter to shareholders this January highlighted a $10.9 million award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. At the time, the company said it had a roughly $11.8 million backlog “that will be delivered and invoiced” across the first and second quarters of 2024.

Other relatively small AI plays have also generated investor attention lately. One is SoundHound AI Inc.
which now has a market cap worth $1.5 billion and started seeing stock momentum earlier this year after Nvidia Corp.

listed a stake on its own 13-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. SoundHound generated roughly $17 million in revenue during its latest quarter while racking up an $18 million net loss.

SoundHound’s stock was down 12% in Tuesday’s session, while shares of C3.ai Inc.
which is worth $3.9. billion in market cap, were down about 6%.


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