AI software firm Fivecast closes $30m Series A

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

Australian software startup Fivecast on Tuesday announced it had closed its AU$30 million Series A. The round, led by US cyber investment firm Ten Eleven, which counts Malcolm Turnbull as an advisor, will fund a US and UK expansion and product build out.

Founded in 2017, Fivecast offers its Onyx intelligence platform to businesses and government agencies to monitor potential threats like terrorism, extremism and human trafficking by scouring publicly available data from sources like the dark web, chat rooms, and forums.

Last year, the Adelaide-based company won the Software Innovation category at the InnovationAus 2022 Awards for Excellence.

Fivecast co-founder and CEO Dr Brenton Cooper

On Tuesday, the company announced it had closed a $AU30 million Series A led by Ten Eleven with additional investment from existing Australian backers, the CSIRO’s Main Sequence and the South Australian Venture Capital Fund.

The company is not revealing its valuation and has raised $AU34 million to date.

Fivecast has a stated mission to create a safer world. Its services clients in national security, defence and law enforcement, assisting to sift through huge amounts of digital data and deliver deep and actionable insights.

Its Onyx platform utilises artificial intelligence in its risk analytics, bringing together targeted, automated and obfuscated data in real-time across a range of online platforms and inserts it into its customisable and AI-enabled risk assessment framework.

The company is a member of Australia’s Defence Industry Security Program – a clearance and support program for Australian businesses that are part of the defence industry supply chain. Fivecast also has similar membership in programs for the defence industry of the US and UK, where it will be expanding to with the new funding.

The Series A will go to expanding into the markets – including a new UK office — and others of the Five Eyes nations. The funding will also be invested in an expanded product portfolio and adding further capabilities in adjacent use cases, such corporate security and financial intelligence, according to the company.

Fivecast, which counts more than 100 staff globally, will also continue a recruitment drive in the tight security and intelligence market, it said.

“Since our founding in 2017, we have enabled government agencies and corporations to identify threats, reduce risks and mitigate incidents across a diverse range of use cases – from divisive US politics influencing violent extremism and China’s influence in the South pacific, through to crypto scams and money laundering,” Fivecast co-founder and chief executive Dr Brenton Cooper said in a statement.

“This Series A funding ensures we can continue building advanced capabilities to support our customers’ targeted objectives, and add headcount to service markets across the globe – particularly in Australia, the US and the UK.”

Main sequence partner Martin Duursma said the Australian firm ready to compete.

“Fivecast incorporates these principles to address the growing spectrum of global threats by deciphering almost endless troves of publicly available data, and applying AI to help uncover insights essential to protecting communities and organisations,” Mr Duursma said in a statement.

“It’s yet another example of Australian deep-tech innovation making a positive, large-scale impact on the world.”

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