Clarity Raises $16M in Seed Funding led by Walden Catalyst and Bessemer Venture Partners 

February 15, 2024

Today we are proud to share a significant milestone on our journey. We are tackling one of the world’s most imminent and important problems, and are incredibly excited to be welcoming new partners on our journey.

Clarity enables organizations to rapidly identify and immunize from Deepfakes and synthetic media created by generative AI. Today we are proud to share a significant milestone in Clarity’s journey to immunize the world from the threat of Deepfakes: our partnership with Walden Catalyst and Bessemer Ventures Partners. This  additional funding will allow us to double down on our core research efforts, while providing best-in-class solutions to the most critical infrastructure in our society.

Clarity is already integrated and deployed with leading media publishers, government agencies and other enterprises. It is now time for us to expand our offerings.

Our team brings unique talents and expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity, and we are extremely proud to be working together on this important challenge.

Deepfakes pose an unprecedented threat to society and estimates show that 90% of online content will be AI-generated by 2026. As the tools needed to create deepfakes are now widely accessible, the risks are distributed broadly across all domains; without intervention our future will be one of unstoppable financial fraud, political election manipulation, a destabilized judicial system, sophisticated spear phishing and more.

“Our digital lives are under attack by shockingly accurate representations of people saying things they never said, and doing things they never did; we are just at the beginning of the invasion of deceit,” said Michael Matias, co-founder and CEO of Clarity, previously studied AI at  Stanford, Officer at the 8200 Cyber Unit and recipient of the Goldman Sachs 2023 Builders and Innovators Award. “These capital infusions and ongoing partnership with Walden Catalyst and Bessemer means that we can accelerate our R&D and market growth, both essential to our mission of preserving trust in the digital world.”

“Clarity’s technology enables organizations and intelligence agencies to fight what is now a very real threat to every business,” said Amit Karp, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “The Clarity team, which includes some of the most experienced cybersecurity and intelligence professionals in the industry, is on a mission to preserve trust in digital media by building cutting-edge technology to detect AI manipulations.”

Clarity is currently working with some of the largest news organizations to verify their media, is working with the government of Israel, and has recently partnered with Kaltura to verify and authenticate sensitive footage and testimonials from the Oct.7 terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas.

“Today, every news and media company is being exposed to deepfake content that is intended to change public perception,” said Chris Marlin, former Head of Strategy for CNN, who is also an angel investor. “It is imperative that organizations protect themselves from these advanced social engineering and phishing scams,” said Udi Mokay, Founder and Chairman of CyberArk and also an angel investor. Dr. Shay David, Co-Founder of enterprise video provider Kaltura adds, “Organizations must immediately adopt new media filtering mechanisms. Deepfakes might be found anywhere within the organization.”

With the upcoming U.S. presidential election, deepfakes are poised to play an outsized role in spreading misinformation that influence voters. “The proliferation of generative AI-produced content and deepfakes has the potential to create even greater voter distrust,” said Larry Diamond, Professor by courtesy of Sociology and Political Science at Stanford University. “Clarity’s technology will clear the fog of uncertainty and provide better clarity for voters and political leaders alike.”

“Existing authentication mechanism and woefully inadequate when it comes to identifying and purging deep of fakes. These new social engineering and phishing attacks and getting better by the hour,” said Roni Hefetz, a partner at Walden Catalyst. “We are excited to partner with Clarity and provide a scalable and trusted platform which organizations can use to verify sensitive media, prevent fraud and create an AI-safe environment.”

Founding Team

Michael Matias, CEO
Michael served as an Officer (was first-in-class) at 8200 (received the Cyber Excellence Award for 2019) and founded two AI teams that received the National Defense Prize. Michael then studied AI at Stanford University and led AI teams at Hippo Insurance. He is an angel investor in more than 70 deep-tech startups, and was on the investment team for multiple VCs, including Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors. He is the founder and host of a technology leadership podcast (20MinuteLeaders) with 1000+ episodes and authored 150+ articles in a leading Israeli financial newspaper.
Natalie Fridman, CTO
Natalie has over 10 years of management experience in AI and research, with expertise in collective intelligence, deep learning, and modeling autonomous agents. Natalie was previously the Senior VP of R&D (from inception to IPO) at ImageSat International and has a Ph.D. in AI and Collective Intelligence. She has published over 25 papers, was a leading computer science lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and has multiple patents in AI algorithms.
Gil Avriel, CSO and COO
Gil is a former Senior Executive in the Israel’s National Security Council, Office of the Prime Ministers. (14 years). Advised 8 National Security Advisers and 4 Prime Ministers on strategic national security issues while serving as the Legal Advisor to the NSC. Led complex multi-party negotiations on behalf of the Israeli government on complex national security issues. Served in the 8200 intelligence corps. Graduated from Harvard Kennedy School and Georgetown Law School (first-in-class).
About Clarity
Clarity is an AI cybersecurity startup with a mission of protecting against deepfakes and new social engineering and phishing attack vectors of Generative AI. Founded by AI and cyber experts from 8200, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, and Israel’s National Security Council, Clarity is advised and backed by global leaders in the AI and cyber industries.
About Walden Catalyst Ventures
Walden Catalyst is a venture capital firm helping early-stage companies in the U.S., Europe, and Israel build the next generation of category-defining businesses in deep tech. The firm is led by Young Sohn and Lip-Bu Tan, deep-tech industry pioneers who between them have invested in more than 600 startups across the globe, of which 136 have gone on to IPO. Walden Catalyst’s inaugural fund has announced a closing at over $550 million and is focused on early stage deep-tech investments and their team of innovators and entrepreneurs are passionate about disruptive technologies and committed to excellence. For startups, this translates into unparalleled access to operational expertise, global reach, and a network of industry captains eager to help build and scale the companies of the future. Visit our website here:
About Bessemer Venture Partners
Bessemer Venture Partners helps entrepreneurs lay strong foundations to build and forge long-standing companies. With more than 145 IPOs and 300 portfolio companies in the enterprise, consumer and healthcare spaces, Bessemer supports founders and CEOs from their early days through every stage of growth. Bessemer’s global portfolio has included Pinterest, Shopify, Twilio, Yelp, LinkedIn, PagerDuty, DocuSign, Wix, Fiverr, and Toast and has $20 billion of assets under management. Bessemer has teams of investors and partners located in Tel Aviv, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, London, Hong Kong, Boston, and Bangalore. Born from innovations in steel more than a century ago, Bessemer’s storied history has afforded its partners the opportunity to celebrate and scrutinize its best investment decisions (see Memos) and also learn from its mistakes (see Anti-Portfolio).