Clearview AI is currently the target of multiple class-action lawsuits and joint investigations by Britain and Australia. It has not kept investors away.
The New York-based start-up, which removes billions of photos from the public Internet to create a face-recognition tool used by law enforcement, closed the 30 30 million Series B round this month.
Investors, although less inclined to sue, did not want to be identified. Hoan Ton-Tet, the company’s chief executive, said it included “institutional investors and private family offices.”
Previous investors include tech billionaire Peter Thiel; New York-based venture capital company, Kirenaga Partners; And HL Lambert, a Texas-based producer of the Magega ETF, an investment fund that makes itself a company that “aligns with Republican beliefs.”
The round includes 6 6.6 million that was previously revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, BuzzFeed reported. Founded in 2017, the company has now raised 38 38 million, valued at 130 130 million.
It’s not the only face-recognition startup to attract investors ’attention. Israel’s rival, Envis, raised 23 5,235 million this month in a softbank-led financing round.
Clearview AI, which claims a database of three billion photos of people collected from sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Venmo, charges law enforcement agencies a subscription fee to use its product. A search of someone’s face will surface with links to other photos of the same person where they appear on the web, making it possible to identify them. According to a leaked list of users received by BuzzFed, more than 1,800 law enforcement agencies have used the Clear View product. U.S. A recent report by the Office of Government Accountability found that Clear View AI was used by 10 federal agencies, including the Secret Service and the FBI.
The company’s product is considered illegal in Canada, and is being investigated by Britain and Australia for its use of citizens’ personal information. The lawsuits filed against the company in the United States include one in Illinois that violates the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, alleging that the company should allow people to use their fingerprints or include them in facial-identification databases.
“We’ve got some good news in legal battles,” Mr. Ton-te said the decision to reject a recent request from a federal judge, citing a decision that barred the company from doing business in Illinois in light of the outcome of the case. “RBNB, Uber, PayPal all had a significant legal component in their operations. The company grows much bigger once people forget about it. Investors can see that it is just part of the business. ”
He added, “Clearview is here to stay.”