Signal AI (formerly Signal Media), a New York-based startup leveraging AI to automate business intelligence and media monitoring tasks, today announced that it’s raised $25 million in series C funding led by Redline Capital with participation from existing investors including MMC Ventures, GMG Ventures, and Hearst Ventures. It brings the company’s total raised to date to $43 million following a $16 million series B in June 2018 and a $7.4 million series A in December 2016, which CEO and founder David Benigson said will enable Signal AI to branch out into new use cases and accelerate its U.S. and Asia-Pacific growth.
The newfound capital comes after a year during which Signal AI’s revenue grew 130%, partly driven by the doubling of a customer base that now includes FleishmanHillard, Deloitte, SSE, Balderton Capital, Amadeus, Thomas Cook Group, White Star Capital, Quilter, TalkTalk, HSBC, and MSL Group.
“Our vision at Signal AI is to transform business decision making through augmented intelligence. We are building artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that learn what an executive needs to know and investigate huge amounts of data to provide critical insights in real time. The results give them absolute clarity about what’s happening outside their organization to make the most informed decisions,” said Benigson. “I am thrilled to have Redline join us in this latest round and appreciate the continued belief and support of our existing investors, which will allow us to continue scaling our business and advancing our work with some of the world’s biggest companies.”
Signal AI got its start in 2013, when Benigson — inspired to streamline his parents’ business’ email newsletter workflow — investigated the use of AI for news curation. He developed the first iteration of Signal AI’s machine learning backend from the family garage, tackling aggregation tasks regularly undertaken in the digital, print, and broadcast media industry. In the subsequent years, the platform expanded to include solutions for compliance and reputation management beyond media monitoring.
Signal AI’s software uses a raft of machine learning techniques including natural language processing, text analytics, machine learning, topic classification, entity recognition, sentiment analysis, quote and anomaly detection, and data visualization to surface sought-after customer data. Its algorithms recognize and tag entities like people, places, organizations, companies, and topics (e.g., acquisitions and workplace diversity), while its front-end dashboards use visualization and real-time analysis to collate the results in various maps, tables, graphs, reports, and alerts.
The idea is to help companies find new business development opportunities, track campaigns and regulatory changes, and perform comprehensive competitor analysis for tactical planning. To this last point, Signal AI says its advertiser product — Marketing Intelligence Suite, which automates media monitoring — draws on over 5 million sources a day in over 80 languages, all of which can be tailored with customizable tags and groups.
Signal AI has its work cut out for it in the over $345 million reputation management segment, which incumbents like Kantar, Cision, Meltwater, and RiskEye dominate. But in a statement, Redline Capital partner Nicolas Giuli expressed confidence in its AI-first approach.
“In this new digital era of news and content, having an adaptive platform to help the world’s leading organizations see around the corner is invaluable,” said Giuli. “Signal AI’s team of data scientists and engineers have been at the forefront of the AI revolution, and we are excited to take this journey with them as they continue to scale across the world.”
Signal AI now has over 150 employees worldwide across offices in London, New York, and Hong Kong.