Online content moderation startup Unitary has raised £8m ($10m) in a fundraise led by Plural Platform.

Unitary was founded Sasha Haco (pictured) and James Thewlis in 2019 and is on a mission to make the internet safer by understanding harmful content.

Plural Platform was co-founded by entrepreneur Ian Hogarth, who is best known for co-founding live music startup Songkick in London in 2007 alongside Michelle You and Pete Finlay (Smith). At one point Songkick scaled to 12 million monthly users.

Plural was launched in 2022 and has been described as a fund launched by founders, for founders.

Writing on LinkedIn, Hogarth said: “Really excited to announce that Plural Platform is leading a $10m seed (raise) for Unitary.

“Unitary has build a powerful AI model that can understand video content.

“I first met Unitary’s CEO Sasha Haco back in 2020 and was struck by her intellect (not often you meet a founder who did a PhD with Stephen Hawking on the black hole information paradox!)

“I was deeply compelled by the mission she was working on – scalably tackling the darkest side of online content using machine learning.”

Shy bairns get nowt (and other leadership lessons from my mum)

To tackle the growing problem of harmful online content, Haco teamed up with computer vision expert James Thewlis to launch Unitary.

Hogarth added: “Machine learning is a critical tool here because the scale of the problem is vast. An estimated four billion social media users worldwide upload more than 80 years’ worth of new footage platforms from Instagram to Tiktok, Reddit to YouTube – every single day!

“Unitary’s team has developed a powerful AI system that can understand video content and scalably offer a brand and user safety solution to large social platforms.

“Their system has scaled to process 25,000 video frames/second with one of their largest customers.

“The company has grown revenue 10x in the past 12 months and is closing larger and larger customers. I think in a similar way to how CloudFlare secures the network level of the internet, Unitary could secure the content level.

“We’re also very excited that Carolyn Everson is joining Unitary’s board. Carolyn is a remarkable leader who played a significant role in scaling Facebook where she led a global team of more than 4,000 people and was responsible for over $80bn in revenue.

Female angels back ‘Rightmove for furniture’

“Prior to that she had senior roles at Microsoft and Viacom so has seen the complexity of content and brand safety from many angles. Her other board roles include Coca-Cola and Disney, so we are honoured that she’s putting her support behind Unitary.”