Blackbird.AI, an AI-driven Disinformation Intelligence Platform, today announced the completion of a $10M Series A fundraising led by Dorilton Ventures, with participation from new investors including Generation Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, StartFast Ventures and Richard Clarke, former chief counter-terrorism advisor for the National Security Council. Existing investor NetX also participated.
The Series A funding will allow Blackbird.AI to scale up its engineering and sales teams, fast-track new product development, and accelerate platform adoption by a global client base.
Following early success in the national security space, Blackbird.AI’s enterprise demand has grown as narrative manipulation and disinformation continue to drive reputational and financial harm. The Company’s Constellation Engine, driven by proprietary algorithms, empowers analysts and decision-makers to respond quickly to harmful information campaigns by surfacing complex relationships and insights within billions of data points in an instant. Organizations can now map previously unseen risks to understand how to proactively respond to a new class of threat.
“Industrialized disinformation is the scourge of the digital world,” said Daniel Freeman of Dorilton Ventures. “Until now, bad actors have operated with impunity from behind a cloak of confusion to distort reality for companies and private citizens alike. Dorilton Ventures is very proud to partner with Blackbird.AI to build a powerful platform that tackles this problem algorithmically and at internet speed and scale. This is a disruptive and transformative business that will protect organizations’ media intelligence, reputation and, ultimately, their value. We look forward to sharing what promises to be a very successful journey with the Blackbird.AI team.”
The cost of disinformation and digital manipulation threats to organizations and governments is rising exponentially and is estimated to have been $78B in 2020.1 More than 70 countries are believed to have used online platforms to spread disinformation in 2020, an increase of 150% from 2017.2 Spending on threat intelligence amid an escalating disinformation defense and offense arms race is growing at an estimated 17% per annum according to Gartner forecasts, 2018-2024.3
Dr. Naushad UzZaman, CTO and co-founder of Blackbird.AI added, “Our system deconstructs the massive flow of information and exposes the underlying dynamics through a combination of signals related to narratives, networks, and how they are being influenced by manipulation and deception. We combine novel adaptive AI with practical engineering that allows us to operate at internet scale to provide interpretable quantitative insights that help our clients understand what matters and what doesn’t.”
The funding announcement comes following a newly formed partnership with Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications network, to help Fortune 500 companies and other large organizations enhance their media security practices by understanding harmful information risks that can impact their businesses.
“Every organization should consider the growing prevalence of disinformation in the media as a security concern for their business and stakeholders. And while information threats are incredibly complex, we have the opportunity now to empower understanding of their origins, enhance decision-making abilities and build out deception detection as an essential practice,” says Chris Perry, Chief Innovation Officer, Weber Shandwick. “The Blackbird.AI platform, and the pre-emptive insight it offers, is a category-defining innovation for such a high-stakes issue.”
Working with Blackbird, organizations now have access to a software platform that is able to understand threats as a network, rather than siloed actors, therefore triaging sources of disinformation and allowing customers to respond to disinformation and narrative manipulation.
“Present-day approaches are vulnerable to manipulation and cannot detect modern information warfare,” said Wasim Khaled, CEO & Co-Founder of Blackbird.AI. “We are pioneering the field of automated narrative intelligence and mitigation, enabling our customers not only to identify information driven threats, but to rapidly anticipate, protect and defend against them with less effort and greater efficiency. We look forward to deploying new capital to address growing demand for enterprise solutions as organizations fight back against those targeting their strategic intelligence.”
For additional information, please visit: www.blackbird.ai.
Blackbird.AI helps organizations detect and respond to disinformation and manipulation that causes reputational and financial harm. Powered by their exclusive AI-Driven Constellation Platform, Fortune 500s and governments can proactively manage new information risks that were previously undetectable. Blackbird.AI was founded by a team of experts from artificial intelligence, behavioral psychology and national security, with a mission to defend authenticity and fight narrative manipulation. Recognized by Forrester as a “Top Threat Intelligence Company”, the Blackbird Risk Index™(BRI) is an industry benchmark in the reputation enhancement space. For additional information, please visit www.blackbird.ai.
About Dorilton Ventures
Dorilton Ventures leads significant minority investments in early- to mid-stage technology companies focused on data-centric segments such as IT infrastructure, data science, and cyber security. For more information, please visit www.doriltongroup.com
About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications network that delivers next-generation solutions to brands, businesses and organizations in major markets around the world. Led by world-class strategic and creative thinkers and activators, we have won some of the most prestigious awards in the industry. Weber Shandwick was named to Ad Age’s Agency A-List in 2020 and Best Places to Work in 2019. Weber Shandwick was also honored as PRovoke’sGlobal Agency of the Decade in 2020 and PRWeek’s Global Agency of the Year in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The firm has earned more than 135 Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Data-led, with earned ideas at the core, the agency deploys leading and emerging technologies to inform strategy, develop critical insights and heighten impact across sectors and specialty areas, including brand and B2B marketing, healthcare marketing, change management, employee engagement, corporate reputation, crisis management, data and analytics, technology, public affairs, social impact and financial communications. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.