AI-powered malicious content detection startup ActiveFence nets $100m, valued at over $500m

NYC and Tel Aviv, Israel-based online integrity company specializing in detecting malicious content such as hate speech, targeted disinformation campaigns, fraud, and other harmful activities ActiveFence has emerged out of stealth with $100m in funding.

The funding covers both a Series B round, led by CRV and Highland Europe and a previously unannounced Series A round, led by Grove Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners. Other significant participants in the rounds include Vintage Investment Partners, Resolute Ventures and others.

The company intends to use the funds to invest in product development as well as accelerate global growth.

Led by CEO Noam Schwartz, ActiveFence is an online integrity company, protecting billions of people worldwide from disinformation, child abuse, terror, hate speech, fraud and other online harms. The company’s platform enables customers, which include trust and safety teams at some of the world’s leading technology platforms and other abuse prevention professionals, with a proactive approach to the detection of and protection against malicious activities on the internet. By searching across the darkest corners of the web where bad actors chat, share and plan, ActiveFence spots known and unknown threats to online platforms before they reach the platforms themselves and cause real damage.

The company safeguards against bad actors, the content they share, and the networks they operate, protecting billions of people worldwide from violent extremism, disinformation, child sexual abuse, fraud, and other harms of the internet. The company’s roster of customers includes social media, audio and video streaming, file sharing, gaming, marketplaces and other types of technology platforms.

Indeed, online malicious activity such as targeted campaigns, abuse, disinformation and hate speech has become a powerful, notorious challenge in recent years. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have tried to address the problem and stem its proliferation on their systems by developing and introducing content moderation systems. For instance, Facebook acquired Bloomsbury AI several years ago for this purpose; Twitter acquired Fabula, and earlier this year Discord picked up Sentropy, another online abuse tracker.

Schwartz said, “Most of our employees are concerned parents who worry about their children’s online safety – and many of them also have experience in intelligence or research in these areas and know firsthand the dangers of extremism or disinformation online. I got into this business to make a difference and am proud that ActiveFence is at the forefront of fighting bad content and behaviours every day.”

ActiveFence is not the only company building technology to help platform operators, governments and brands have a better picture of what is going on in the wider online world. Factmata has built algorithms to better understand and track sentiments online; Primer also uses NLP to help its customers track online information, with its customers including government organizations that used its technology to track misinformation during election campaigns; Bolster – formerly called RedMarlin – is another.

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