ActiveFence, an Israeli startup specializing in detecting malicious content such as hate speech, targeted disinformation campaigns, fraud, and other harmful activities online and offline, has raised $100 million to fund its efforts.
Founded in 2018, ActiveFence emerged from stealth mode this week to announce the funding and said the investment will help the company continue developing its tools and expanding its customer base, TechCrunch first reported on Tuesday. The company is based in New York and Tel Aviv and employs nearly 200 people across six global offices.
ActiveFence says it has continued to grow its customer base by 100 percent year over year and its roster includes government agencies, social media companies, audio and video streaming sites, file sharing companies, gaming companies, and marketplaces.
“By scanning in hidden sources of chatter and across the web, we safeguard against bad actors, the content they share and the networks they operate,” the company says on its site.
The $100 million round actually covers ActiveFence’s most recent Series B led by CRV and Highland Europe, as well as a previously unannounced Series A led by Israeli VC firm Grove Ventures and American venture and growth equity investment company Norwest Venture Partners. Vintage Investment Partners, Resolute Ventures, and other unnamed backers also participated, TechCrunch reported.
Noam Schwartz, ActiveFence’s co-founder and CEO, told the publication in an interview that the company takes “a fundamentally different approach to trust, safety and content moderation.”
“We are proactively searching the darkest corners of the web and looking for bad actors in order to understand the sources of malicious content. Our customers then know what’s coming. They don’t need to wait for the damage, or for internal research teams to identify the next scam or disinformation campaign. We work with some of the most important companies in the world, but even tiny, super niche platforms have risks,” said Schwartz.
“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,” said Schwartz in a press statement. “I got into this business to make a difference and am proud that ActiveFence is at the forefront of fighting bad content and behaviors every day.”
“We are very honored to be ActiveFence partners from the very earliest days of the company, and to be part of this important journey to make the internet a safer place and see their unprecedented success with the world’s leading internet platforms,” said Lotan Levkowitz, general partner at Grove Ventures, in the statement.
Online malicious activity such as targeted campaigns, abuse, disinformation, and hate speech has become a powerful, notorious challenge in recent years. Huge social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have tried to address the problem and stem its proliferation on their platforms by developing and introducing content moderation systems (with mixed results). Meanwhile, the threat actors are continually evolving.
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