Microsoft To Support Start Up Firms Combat Fake Images

Truepic Inc., which helps companies like banks and insurers fight fraud by verifying images, raised $26 million in a funding round led by Microsoft Corp.’s M12 venture capital arm.

Adobe Inc.Sony Innovation Fund and Hearst Ventures participated in the financing for Truepic, which quadrupled revenue in 2020 from more than 100 enterprise customers. The company, whose clients include Equifax Inc. and Ford Motor Co., will use the capital to expand globally and across industries from banking and cars to online commerce.

Founded in 2015, Truepic offers systems to ensure photos haven’t been manipulated between capture and delivery. Companies can integrate its camera into their apps, helping them collect documentation or other visual evidence from users for applications of everything from insurance claims to loan approvals.

“The truth technology industry is in early innings, and solutions meant to detect manipulated photos and videos will fall flat as bad actors continuously improve the quality of their deception and synthetic media,” said James Wu of M12. “Pipelines for assuring the source and integrity of media through each lifecycle phase—from capture to editing and dissemination—will be key.”

Truepic has benefited from the rapid global uptake of fintech during the Covid-19 pandemic, a trend expected to continue even after lockdowns and other restrictions ease. A recent Facebook Inc. and Bain & Co. report estimated the bulk of venture capital investment in Southeast Asia is now going to fintech startups, which increasingly process documents and applications online.