Pendulum raises $ 5.9M to help organizations track malicious reports - TechCrunch
Pendulum helps companies, governments and other organizations to monitor malicious reports on social media platforms and other places on the web. The company announced today that it has built a $ 5.9 million seed cycle led by Madrona Venture Group, with the participation of Cercano Management and others. The service was promoted within Madrona Venture Labs.
“The Pendulum platform uses AI and NLP technologies to detect threats and opportunities contained in reports in the earliest days of creation and monitor them as they spread online,” explained director Madrona Hope Cochran rules. “By circulating and categorizing the statements in text, video and audio content on social media platforms, companies are better equipped and able to communicate with communities as they wish. With support for YouTube, BitChute, Rumble and Podcasts now available, the platform will grow to include all major social platforms in the coming months. ”
The team behind Pendulum seems to be well suited to build such a result. Co-founder Sam Clark, for example, previously worked as a data mining engineer at Decide.com and then at eBay after acquiring that company. He also co-created Transparency Tube, a project that categorizes and analyzes political YouTube channels. Transparency Tube shares some DNA with Pendulum, and Clark then teamed up with Madrona to build a commercial product around this common notion of online misinformation and disinfection monitoring. That's also where he worked with his co - founder Mark Listes, who brings a wealth of government experience to the team. Listes was previously policy director for the U.S. Electoral Assistance Commission and chief of staff for the National Security Innovation Network, where he helped regulate U.S. Department of Defense campaign communications.
Although Listes expected to have a very quiet time at the Electoral Assistance Commission, it is clear that he chose the wrong time for that when he joined in 2022. “By November and December 16, the place of the elections looked very different, "he told me." We were dealing with foreign intervention and briefings of information and everything under the sun. Over the next two and a half years, my colleagues and I have found myself right in the midst of leading the effort to combat foreign obstruction. We experienced it both personally and organisationally, and then helped fight to get the most out of our system. statements, whether misinformed or misrepresented or misrepresented it on society at large. ”
But while government agencies can use Pendulum to monitor online reports, it is first and foremost a commercial service. "We're commercial first," Listes said. “Of course there is an easy, intuitive play with the government here, but of course we are focusing specifically on the commercial sector first and we are building very powerful partnerships there. ”
Lists confirmed that a platform like Pendulum needs to work out, that it needs to cover as many platforms. It's not enough to just keep an eye on Twitter, which does not offer a representative sample of the population anyway, or YouTube. Because of this, Pendulum also monitors BitChute and Rumble, for example.
But Listes also noted that Pendulum is not involved in judging truth. "We have this very powerful reporting tracking engine that does not depend on whether something is true or false," he explained. of usage issues. ”This means that the company may work with corporations, for example, which may wish to monitor statements about company executives and assets, for communication purposes but also for security reasons.
Unwilling to decide whether something is true or not, Pendulum opens itself up for use by savage actors as well. Listes argues that the company does not monitor personally identifiable information, however, and that the team is well aware of this potential. “We build values to ensure that we do not in any way create an unfair playing field or empower malicious actors and the like through the use of our device. , ”He said.