Controversial Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Raised $8.6 Million - 2020-09-24
Controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI — which has built a database of more than 3 billion images taken from Facebook, Instagram, and the world's largest social networking platforms — raised $8.6 million in a recent fundraising round, according to financial documents filed on Thursday.
The fundraising round comes amid a series of legal challenges to Clearview for its alleged violation of various states' biometric information and data privacy laws, and follows a year in which the company has come under heavy scrutiny for its previously undisclosed relationships with law enforcement agencies and private companies. Earlier this year, BuzzFeed News reported that Clearview's facial recognition software had been used by more than 2,200 entities, ranging from US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the FBI to companies including Macy's, Walmart, and Bank of America.
The financial document, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, said the company raised $8.625 million in equity sales, though it did not disclose the investors. The minimum accepted from outside investors was $50,000, according to the filing, which noted that the first sale occurred at the beginning of August.