Deepfake-foiling startup gets $26M led by Microsoft

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Microsoft’s M12 Fund Leading $26 million investment round for TruePic, a San Diego-based startup trying to fight the emerging wave of digitally altered photos and videos colloquially known as deepfakes.

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why it matters: Already a problem, manipulated media is expected to become an even bigger threat in the coming years as technology makes it easier for anyone to modify videos to say anything.

  • Adobe, Hearst Ventures and Sony Innovation Fund are also investing, as are individuals at Stone Point Capital.

how it works: TruePic’s core system works to ensure that digital images and video have not been modified since capture, verifying not only that pixels have not been changed, but metadata, such as date and location. has also not been changed.

  • TruePic has also acquired another technology designed to determine whether a particular image is authentic.
  • However, the company has decided that it is necessary to verify the media as it is captured.
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“To find out TruePic CEO Jeffrey McGregor told Nerdshala, “It can’t scale, and it can’t happen in a way that’s accurate enough to deliver business value.”

Between the lines: McGregor said the primary use of the funding will be to expand from a system that requires companies to use TruePic’s custom camera app to which TruePic’s secure camera can be added to any third-party iOS or Android app.

  • This, he said, opens the door for use by very large companies that already have an app that includes photo capture capabilities, as is the case with many companies in insurance, retail, home rental and other categories.
  • Trupic has 40 employees today, but expects to have more than 100 by the end of next year, McGregor said.
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