A startup is taking on the whole fake news problem. Cybersecurity firm New Knowledge has raised $11 million to protect companies from covert, coordinated disinformation campaigns.
Austin, Texas-based New Knowledge raised the money from existing investor GGV Capital, with participation from Lux Capital.
New Knowledge uses novel techniques to combat automated digital attacks that sabotage a brand’s reputation. The company’s combination of artificial intelligence and human analysis work to identify attacks, analyze the source and mitigate the spread of malign narratives. New Knowledge will use the funding to expand its sales and marketing to scale in new markets and to establish itself as the leader in disinformation defense.
“We are living in an age of information warfare,” said New Knowledge CEO Jonathon Morgan, in a statement. “Disinformation campaigns may be highly organized and well-funded state attacks on industry, as well as individual operators trolling the internet to create chaos and division. Attacks against governments and political figures are well documented, and the problem has expanded to include attacks against companies, brands and public figures. New Knowledge’s mission is to help companies identify these threats early, and to remediate them before they gain momentum and erode a company’s reputation.”
Since its launch in 2015, New Knowledge has helped clients across entertainment, energy, financial services and defense sectors to protect their online communities, their brand reputation and integrity. With a mission to protect public discourse, New Knowledge provides companies with the first end-to-end disinformation defense solution that can monitor, detect, and mitigate against malicious digital attacks.
“As disinformation campaigns and automated media manipulation have accelerated, New Knowledge has emerged as critical to helping preserve the digital media platforms that the technology sector has helped build,” said GGV Capital partner Glenn Solomon, in a statement. “While social and digital media platforms have taken important steps to thwart hackers and trolls, they cannot be relied upon solely to correct this growing problem. The team at New Knowledge has devised a solution that goes beyond social listening to combat disinformation at the source and help businesses prevent threats from spinning out of control. At GGV Capital we seek to invest in great entrepreneurs addressing large and growing markets with innovative technologies. New Knowledge is focused on a very exciting and important opportunity and we’re excited to back the company.”
Earlier investors include Moonshot Capital, Haystack Ventures, Geekdom Fund, Capital Factory and Spitfire Ventures. To set itself apart from rivals, the company uses a combination of AI and machine learning to detect, early on suspicious activity. Then they use human analysts to evaluate the data — they always use a human component, which many competitors don’t. Others just use just social listening.
What makes New Knowledge different is that the founders are AI and Homeland Security experts who grew up in the NSA and were advisers. Morgan, for instance, was an adviser for the U.S. State Department and published research at the Brookings Institution.