Why We Invested in Blackbird.AI
Our society has connected over 5.1 billion people with over 4.7 billion social media accounts. Considering this, it’s not unlikely that every single one of us has been influenced, manipulated, or outright lied to online. Truth and identity have been obfuscated to a degree that would be unimaginable to previous generations, yet as a society, we’ve had few tools or coping techniques, to offer to each other or future generations, a solution.
Suggestions like adopting a questioning mindset when consuming news, content, and social discussion are frequently proposed; but it cannot be solely left to citizens to discern the accuracy and intent of content – especially when targeted disinformation is designed to be appealing, emotionally charged, prejudice, and is perpetuated at incredible scale.
So far, citizens have been left to deal with disinformation in algorithmically assigned, but invisible, echo chambers. Organizations and businesses have also been generally unable to assess or have an impact on disinformation, even if it relates to them. Ultimately, media companies remain focused on driving engagement, regardless of whether the engagement is helpful or harmful – so there is little incentive for these social companies to tackle disinformation and the associated engagement.
We at Ten Eleven are known as the original “cyber security” investment fund. But now in 2023, we are well aware that guardians of a safe internet aren’t just CISOs and SOC teams and that security online is far greater than infrastructure and application security technologies like firewalls and cloud defenses. In this “broader security” mindset we first backed Kasada who supports marketing, e-commerce, and brand teams to ensure that only legitimate customers could purchase products and services from you without getting washed away by bots and scalpers. Next in this mindset, we are excited to announce a Series B investment into Blackbird.ai whose mission is to empower trust, safety, and integrity across the global information ecosystem.
Blackbird offers organizations clarity through context that enables leaders to make informed decisions that protect their messages, their missions, and their future from attacks on the human perception of internet users. Disinformation attacks against, or involving, companies and organizations have been here for some time, but Blackbird offers business leaders the information and suggested responses that allow you to handle incidents before they become an enduring crises.
We at Ten Eleven loved the product as soon as we saw it – yet what stood out most are the clear voices in the customer case studies that highlight the incredible need for global organizations to be able to understand and act on deliberate and accidental disinformation as well as malicious messaging – whether driven by humans, automated bots or a hybrid of both. Crucially, it was this ability to derive real achievable actions alongside insight into how primary and secondary narratives are spreading that made us realize how much more advanced and impactful this is compared to traditional social listening analysis.
Led by genuinely visionary executives, the multi-disciplinary Blackbird team prioritizes diverse perspectives and has all the ingredients needed to deliver a profound shift in the way global organizations engage with the modern social ecosystem. Wasim Khaled (CEO) and Naushad UzZaman (CTO) have assembled a phenomenal team along with leaders such as John Wissinger (VP of Engineering), Jim Reynolds (VP of Sales), and Brice Chambraud (VP of Global Operations).
We are also delighted to be joined in this round by existing investors of a very high caliber, including Daniel Freeman from Dorilton Capital and Alistair Mitchell from Generation Ventures.
Now, more than ever, organizations worldwide need to be resilient to cyber-attacks; and realize that objective includes mitigating disinformation attacks on human perception of customers, stakeholders, suppliers, and employees. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of Blackbird’s journey to change the world.