Early stage venture capital fund SRI Capital has invested $1 million in Fakespot, an online data authentication startup. Based in New York City, Fakespot is trusted by millions of consumers to detect fake reviews on Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and the Apple App Store. Fakespot has analyzed over 2 billion reviews to date.
SRI Capital’s investment in Fakespot marks its fifth investment from its recently launched a $100 million venture fund.
Sashi Reddi, partner at SRI Capital, said “The trillion dollar e-commerce economy is based on consumer reviews and many of those are fake. Fakespot has now become the trusted source for millions of consumers to detect which reviews may be fake and assess the true quality of the product or service. We are excited to back Fakespot as it strives to make online commerce trustworthy again.”
Fakespot plans to use its seed funding to improve its current products and launch new fake review detection services.
Saoud Khalifah, Fakespot’s founder and CEO, said “Our mission and primary goal is to make all online information trustworthy using technologies such as artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics. Fakespot was founded because I noticed that there has been an ever-increasing volume of inauthentic information published on the Internet. If left unchecked, user's decisions can be swayed by false information. With SRI Capital's investment and guidance, Fakespot has the perfect partner to expand and improve its services that prevent fake reviews from misleading consumers.”
The rise of fake reviews on major e-commerce and travel platforms has recently been highlighted by several major media outlets, including an article by David Pouge in Yahoo Finance. With e-commerce projected to comprise 17% of all U.S. retail sales by 2022, a number of sellers have resorted to posting fake and biased reviews to increase their sales. Fakespot’s platform works in real-time to warn consumers on inauthentic trends within reviews.
According to Khalifah, “We receive great feedback from our users who are happy to finally get authentic opinions on products and services. It is very rewarding and an honor to have built a service that people can trust. We can’t wait to share the exciting new features and products we have been developing that will make the Fakespot experience even better.”
SRI Capital is a US registered early stage tech fund based in Philadelphia.