The money will support growth and for further development of Truepic’s technology, which employs location, date and time, image examination — even barometric pressure readings from smartphone sensors — to figure out whether photos are real.
Truepic is working to enhance its technology to detect altered video. The move comes in response to a rise in advanced, artificial intelligence-based video editing techniques known as “deep fakes.”
“When we started the company three years ago, we set out based on the larger thesis that you could not trust anything you were seeing on the internet anymore,” said Jeff McGregor, chief executive of Truepic. “What is scary about video is it is an inherently more trusted medium.”
In addition, it makes a software development kit to embed its technology into third party camera apps.
Insurance industry customers, for example, use Truepic to authenticate photos that policyholders submit as part of auto claims.
Truepic is working with the moderators of the Reddit “Ask Me Anything” series — an 18 million subscriber thread where everyone from Bill Gates to NASA take online questions – to make sure the person behind the keyboard is actually who they say they are.
“From household names like Barack Obama and Bill Gates to expert axe throwers and food cart culinary road warriors, people are invited to ask hosts anything,” said Brian Lynch, moderator for Reddit IAmA and an intellectual property attorney, in a statement. “Truepic’s technology allows us to quickly and safely verify the identity and claims for some of our most eccentric guests.”
The company also worked with the Syrian American Medical Society to authenticate photos taken from the Syrian conflict. Kopari Beauty is using Truepic to capture certified “before & after” photos.
The 16 employee startup launched its app last year. It previously raised $1.75 million.
Financial backers in this latest round include Dowling Capital Partners; Jeffrey Parker, former chief executive of Thomson Financial; Andrew Filipowski, chief executive of Platinum Technology; and William Sahlman, a Harvard Business School professor and venture capitalist.
“Photo manipulation and the rapid development of new video editing technologies are at the intersection of this dangerous shift” of misinformation online, said McGregor. “And we intend to fix that by bringing a layer of trust back to the internet.”