Blackbird AI, a startup developing AI-powered software for risk intelligence, announced today that it has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Ten Eleven Ventures. The round also included participation from Dorilton Capital, Generation Ventures, StartFast Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, and angel investors. The funding brings Blackbird’s total raised to $30 million.
For organizations, Blackbird attempts to detect cyber “information” attacks directed against them, such as mass deepfake campaigns, and equip IT teams with the capabilities to counter-influence operations. Using Blackbird, users can delve into details such as the content-sharing patterns of specific actors or the narratives emerging in active discussions.
Blackbird provides heat map visualizations of how narratives—including toxic narratives (e.g., those involving hate speech)—flow across social media. The company also flags bot-like accounts and characterizes how high-profile people like influencers impact the flow of narratives. Blackbird claims it can discover key influencers within cohorts of people, mapping out how a narrative spreads over time.
Blackbird, according to Khaled, allows leaders to quickly refute misinformation, address aggressive complaints, and prevent backlash, positioning them as informed and proactive. Blackbird also promotes business growth by keeping an eye on the industry pulse, tracking competitors, and cultivating media relations. It assesses the effectiveness of communication strategies and provides actionable insights for improvement.
Even if Blackbird performs as well as Khaled claims, it is not the only player in the reputation and risk intelligence space. Rivals include Graphika, Logically, and Cyabra, which raised $5. 6 million in October 2021. The market is large enough to support a range of vendors, with one estimate valuing the risk management software sector at $86. 53 billion by 2030, up from $27. 80 billion in 2021. A separate Deloitte report found that more than half of companies plan to address reputation risk by investing in technology, such as analytical and brand monitoring tools. Blackbird would not disclose its customer count, but Khaled claims that the growing threat from disinformation has been good for business.
“In our interconnected world, disinformation doesn’t just spread—it gallops, wreaking havoc on an organization’s reputation and operations,” he continued. “And let’s face it, the world isn’t becoming any less unpredictable. It’s in this very unpredictability that Blackbird finds its strength. “