NEW YORK, June 15, 2023 – Today, Blackbird.AI, the leader in AI-driven Narrative and Risk Intelligence, announced the close of a $20M 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 U.S. Government. The fresh funding brings total dollars raised to $32 million.
A 2019 estimate put the cost of disinformation at $78 billion per year globally, with publicly traded companies losing approximately $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 organizations 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’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’s Constellation Platform detects narratives, the risks they contain and the way in which these narratives propagate in more than 25 languages to analyze 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.
“This investment significantly accelerates our ability to innovate in Generative AI. It will enable us to expedite our efforts in two critical areas: first, to identify and neutralize malicious propaganda campaigns generated by AI, and secondly, to create a state-of-the-art co-pilot assistant that will empower analysts and executives to make informed decisions swiftly, even in the face of unexpected events,” said Naushad UzZaman, CTO and co-founder of Blackbird.AI. “This funding fuels our journey to navigate and secure our increasingly complex information ecosystem.”
To date, Blackbird.AI’s growth has been mostly organic and has deployed mission critical technology with government organizations 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.
“Global organizations 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’s board of directors. “Online security measures like firewalls and cloud defenses may not be enough to ensure a safe internet. Blackbird 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 organizations detect and respond to threats that cause reputational and financial harm. Powered by their AI-Driven Narrative & Risk Intelligence Constellation Platform, organizations can proactively understand risks and threats to their reputation in real-time. Blackbird 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’s technology is used by many of the world’s largest organizations for strategic decision making.
About Ten Eleven Ventures
Ten Eleven Ventures is the original cybersecurity-focused, global, stage agnostic investment firm. The firm finds, invests, and helps grow top cybersecurity companies addressing critical digital security needs, tapping its team, network, and experience to help build successful businesses. Since its founding, Ten Eleven Ventures has raised over $US 1 billion and made over 40 cybersecurity investments across stages worldwide, including KnowBe4, Darktrace, Axis Security, Twistlock, Verodin, Cylance, and Ping Identity. For more information, please visit www.1011vc.com or follow us on Twitter @1011vc.