AI Startup Raises $5 Million With This Pitch Deck

  • Checkstep raised $5 million in seed funding from Dawn Capital and Form Ventures.
  • The startup uses an AI-driven tool and its in-house staff to moderate online communities.
  • Check out the 7-slide deck Checkstep used to raise the fresh funds.

A startup that helps companies moderate their online platforms and stamp out things like hate speech and harassment has raised $5 million in seed funding.

London-based Checkstep bills itself as a one-stop shop for online content moderation and platform safety. The company has developed an AI-based tool that flags harmful, violent, or bigoted content, and has a team of moderators to double-check if these detections are accurate.

“We enable companies to de-risk themselves from unwanted user behavior,” said CEO Guillaume Bouchard. “Companies don’t want that negative user experience.”

Checkstep gathers data on the likes of hate speech, miscommunication, and even hateful memes from public datasets. It then compares that against the content on a company’s platform and flags any potential breaches in site’s terms and conditions. Bouchard told Insider that Checkstep’s moderators verify the data collected by its AI technology to ensure it’s accurate, and can be case corrected for the future.

The startup aims to work with businesses in the retail, gaming, gambling, and marketplace sectors due to the widespread desire for companies to engage with their communities, Bouchard said. Currently, its client roster includes wellness companies and mental health organizations that regularly need to monitor their online platforms for sensitive content.

Checkstep offers a free trial, after which companies can buy a subscription to use its services. In order to minimize data breaches, the startup has a non-custodial policy when accessing company data, and only temporarily accesses the content it moderates.

Bouchard has witnessed a rising demand for content moderation services in the market, following the government’s push to pass the Online Safety Bill in the UK, and the EU’s proposed Digital Services Act. These policies aim to implement more stringent measures to supposedly safeguard the safety of online users — but companies are concerned that they’ll be subjected to hefty fines if they’re found to violate government guidelines on posting ‘harmful’ content.

“There’s a lot of rules to comply with, and our customers wanted to be more proactive,” he added.

The round was co-led by UK-based VC firm Dawn Capital, which focuses on B2B software and has previously backed logistics unicorn Gelato and AI and data analytics platform Dataiku, and Form Ventures, a newly created fund that works with founders tapping into regulated markets. Additional backing came from the founders of GoCardless, Indeed, and Redbus Media.

Norman Fiore, general partner at Dawn Capital, noted the “ability to ethically moderate users and content” was becoming “increasingly important”, an issue that Checkstep offered a “market-leading all-in-one solution to.”

Checkstep will use the fresh funds to develop its product, train moderators in policy and regulations so they are better equipped to make better decisions, and bolster its safety features such as the blurring and auditing of images.

Check out the 7-slide deck Checkstep used to raise the fresh funds.

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