AI cybersecurity software platform Fivecast bags $30m in Series A

AI cybersecurity software platform Fivecast bags $30m in Series A

Fivecast CEO and co-founder Dr Brenton Cooper (Provided)

An Adelaide-based intelligence software company helping agencies monitor extremist threats, expedite security clearances, identify supply chain risks and more has secured $30 million in a Series A round led by US-based cybersecurity VC firm Ten Eleven.

Fivecast’s raise also received backing from CSIRO-backed Main Sequence and the South Australian Venture Capital Venture Fund, which is managed by global investment firm Artesian.

Founded in 2017, Fivecast uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to assess vast amounts of multi-media data across the surface, dark and deep web to identify extremists, terrorists, drug trafficking, organised crime and more. Current clientele includes government agencies, law enforcement, defence, and corporate security companies.

Fivecast plans to use the latest capital injection to build out its product portfolio, and comes just as the firm has hired more than 100 employees across its four offices in Australia, the US, and the UK.

The company is also looking to continue expanding its operations in the Asia Pacific region and Europe.

“Our platform enables customers to fight the proliferation of threats, pierce through sophisticated online landscapes, and speed up investigations to protect global communities and organisations,” said Fivecast CEO and co-founder Dr Brenton Cooper, who built the company alongside Duane Rivett, Ross Buglak and David Blockow.

“We have enabled government agencies and corporations to identify threats, reduce risks and mitigate incidents across a diverse range of use cases – from divisive US politics influencing violent extremism and China’s influence in the South Pacific, through to crypto scams and money laundering.

“This Series A funding ensures we can continue building advanced capabilities to support our customers’ targeted objectives, and add headcount to service markets across the globe – particularly in Australia, the US and the UK.”

Fivecast was spun out of the Data to Decisions Cooperative Centre (D2D CRC) – an $88 million government initiative that brought together agencies and research institutions to tackle big data challenges facing national security and law enforcement.

Since breaking into the market, Fivecast has collaborated with not-for-profit DeliverFund to search masses of online data and find the digital footprint of human traffickers in the US, providing intelligence to law enforcement in order to assist victims.

“We see open-source intelligence (OSINT) as a large and emerging sector driven by the explosion of publicly available content, now growing ever-larger via the newly accessible AI-generated multi-media content platforms,” Ten Eleven Ventures managing partner Alex Doll said.

“Governments, law enforcement, and other organisations need a faster and easier way to collect and analyse this open-source data. Fivecast's advanced collection methods and AI-supported analysis tools bypass current manual data analysis processes to meet this important need.

“Notably, this is our second investment in Australia, a country we know has tremendous entrepreneurial and technical talent. We will make additional investments in Australia in the years ahead and look forward to helping bridge the country's incredible tech to other markets.”

The latest funding round comes almost four years since Fivecast raised $4 million from Main Sequence and the South Australian Venture Capital Fund.

“Deep tech is boundless in its ability to create safer societies through research, data and advanced capabilities that tackle among the most pressing challenges we face,” said Martin Duursma, Partner at Main Sequence.

“Fivecast incorporates these principles to address the growing spectrum of global threats by deciphering almost endless troves of publicly available data, and applying AI to help uncover insights essential to protecting communities and organisations.

“It's yet another example of Australian deep-tech innovation making a positive, large-scale impact on the world.”

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