Cybersecurity firm New Knowledge is ready to tackle the growing problem of fake news. In particular, the startup 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 works to identify attacks, analyze the source, and mitigate the spread of maligning narratives.
New Knowledge will use the funding to expand its sales and marketing in order to scale in new markets and to establish itself as a 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 protect their online communities and their brand reputation. With a mission to protect public discourse, New Knowledge claims it 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 suspicious activity early on. Human analysts then evaluate the data — the company always uses a human component, something many competitors don’t, relying instead on social listening.
What further distinguishes New Knowledge is that its founders are AI and Homeland Security experts who grew up in the NSA and have worked as security advisers. Morgan, for instance, was an adviser for the U.S. State Department and published research at the Brookings Institution.