Bodyguard.ai has raised €9 million in a Series A funding round. The Nice-based startup uses a proprietary AI solution to flag and squash online toxic content, cyberharassment, and hate speech in less than a second. The funding will be used to continue the startups’ ongoing international expansion efforts, as well as drive a recruitment campaign that will see the team size double by years’ end.
Far be it from me to tell you that there’s a lot of not-so-great behavior and content on the web. And if you’ve watched more than three minutes of Euphoria, you’ll know that lifelong consequences can unfold from the seemingly mindless tap of a screen. Say nothing for the heralded Metaverse just over the horizon.
What started out as a free consumer app, one that has kept the bad at bay for more than 700 million people around the world, Bodyguard works across variety of platforms including twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitch, and claims that it can detect and moderate over 95 percent of content it deems as toxic via comprehension of context, nuances, SMS language, emojis, abbreviations, censored words, and typos in less than 200 milliseconds.
The service allows users to select levels of toxic content protection based on its type: insults, threats, trolling, body-shaming, racism, LGBT+phobia, misogyny, hate, sexual or moral harassment, as well as rebuffing any promotional links, spam, or scams that might make their way into an online conversation on the above-mentioned platforms.
With lessons learned from this consumer-facing service, Bodyguard turned its sights towards a SaaS model B2B offer just over a year ago and is now working with brands in the media (Groupe M6, Brut, Konbini), entertainment (Jellysmack), gaming (Powder) and sports (French Professional Football League) sectors to help keep their communities free and clear of bad actors, and crucially, keeping members not only safe but actively engaged.
Perhaps the best way to think of Bodyguard is this: It helps deliver the positives of online activity while filtering out 95 percent of the negatives.
“Bodyguard.ai's mission is to build a better Internet. I am proud of the mobilisation of our ecosystem to develop our solutions, adapt them to new uses, and contribute to the building of Web 3.0,” commented CEO and founder Charles Cohen. “It is essential that the Internet is a space where everyone can feel safe, no matter who they are or what they believe in.”
In early 2021, Tech.eu's Andrii Degeler sat down with Bodyguard managing director Matthieu Boutard to discuss the company in greater detail beginning at the 9:47 mark.
Bodyguard’s €9 million Series A funding round was led by Keen Venture Partners and Ring Capital, with existing investor Starquest Capital also returning to the table.
“By building on a unique technology with very high growth potential, especially in the United States, and a high-performance team aligned with a social mission, Bodyguard.ai can make a significant contribution to solving a major societal issue: online hate,” commented Ring Capital’s co-founder Nicolas Celier.
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