Blackbird.AI, the leader in AI-driven Narrative and Risk Intelligence, announced the close of a US$20 million Series B round led by cybersecurity investor Ten Eleven Ventures, with follow-on support from existing investors Dorilton Capital, Generation Ventures, StartFast Ventures and Trousdale Ventures.
Other investors include Paul Kurtz, chief cybersecurity advisor to Splunk, and Richard Clarke, the first “cyber czar” for the US Government. The fresh funding brings the total dollars raised to US$32 million.
A 2019 estimate put the cost of disinformation at US$78 billion per year globally, with publicly traded companies losing approximately US$39 billion annually due to disinformation-related stock market losses.
Generative AI, for all its positive attributes, provides unprecedented scalability for disinformation efforts potentially dwarfing these numbers and putting chief communication officers (CCO), chief information security officers (CISO) and the intelligence community on high alert.
“Human perception has become the latest frontier in cyberattacks, manifesting as misinformation and narrative manipulation. This emerging threat is impacting a broad range of sectors and professionals, from strategic communicators and risk managers to information security teams,” stated Wasim Khaled, CEO and co-founder of Blackbird.AI.
“We aim to help organisations understand and address the potential threats posed by perception manipulation, which often fly under the radar, fostering an environment of trust, safety and integrity, while simultaneously providing them with significant strategic and competitive leverage.”
With roots in the defense community since 2019, Blackbird.AI’s platform brings together security and communications teams to uncover and track the deliberate manipulation of digital narratives, and the explosion of events in which information threats transmute into physical and cyber threats, financial losses and potentially company-killing events to businesses across brand reputation, ESG and supply chain.
Current technologies have been unable to detect and mitigate harmful content online, often because they have not been able to identify the nuanced indicators in the content and the mechanisms by which it spreads across information networks.
Blackbird.AI’s Constellation Platform detects narratives, the risks they contain and the way in which these narratives propagate in more than 25 languages to analyse text, images and memes across the dark web, social, news and more, enabling organizations to react faster to a range of attacks with rapid access to AI-powered insights.
To date, Blackbird.AI’s growth has been mostly organic and has deployed mission critical technology with government organisations helping with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as communications firm Weber Shandwick where the platform is a critical tool in the company’s crisis services.
The new funds will help the team scale the sales and marketing efforts to bring its solutions to more customers, drive awareness in key industries and accelerate innovation in enhancing the Constellation Platform and its recently launched RAV3N Co-Pilot, a state of the art Generative AI reporting module to accelerate insights and recommendations.
It will also continue to expand its ecosystem through the Blackbird Global Alliance Program.
For the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, the funds will be used to expand Blackbird.AI’s regional footprint and grow its customer base across the region, with Singapore serving as the regional headquarters.
In addition to driving marketing and customer support efforts, Blackbird.AI will also be ramping up hiring for APAC to ensure they have the right talent to navigate local market dynamics and provide tailored solutions to regional customers.
Additionally, Blackbird.AI intends to invest in regional partnerships and integrations to augment their service offerings and create a more comprehensive solution for organisations.
“Global organisations must act on deliberate and accidental disinformation and malicious messaging from humans or automated bots – or a hybrid of both,” said Dave Palmer, General Partner of Ten Eleven Ventures and former co-founder and chief product officer at Darktrace, who has joined Blackbird.AI’s board of directors.
“Online security measures like firewalls and cloud defenses may not be enough to ensure a safe internet. Blackbird.AI offers superior security that goes beyond infrastructure and application security technologies. We are on a mission to serve and protect the global information ecosystem.”
Blackbird.AI helps organisations detect and respond to threats that cause reputational and financial harm. Powered by their AI-Driven Narrative & Risk Intelligence Constellation Platform, organisations can proactively understand risks and threats to their reputation in real-time.
Blackbird.AI was founded by a team of experts from artificial intelligence, and national security, with a mission to defend authenticity and fight narrative manipulation. Recognized by Forrester as a “Top Threat Intelligence Company,” the Blackbird.AI’s technology is used by many of the world’s largest organisations for strategic decision making.