Pendulum | January 07, 2022
Pendulum, an AI/ML powered platform for companies and government organizations to detect and understand harmful narratives on social media platforms and elsewhere, announced $5.9M in seed funding. Led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Cercano Management and others, Pendulum was spun out of Madrona Venture Labs, and will use the funding to build their team and expand the platform.
Pendulum’s platform applies AI and Machine Learning to uncover threats and opportunities contained in narratives in the earliest days of their formation and track them as they spread online. By dissecting and categorizing the narratives in text, video, and audio, on social media platforms, Pendulum enables companies, government, and organizations to not only discover which narratives are developing into threats and opportunities in near real-time, but also see how they are evolving. Pendulum is building a platform that tracks narratives across any medium, and already analyzes audio and video from major video platforms like YouTube, unmoderated platforms like BitChute and Rumble, and podcasts.
Pendulum was founded by CEO, Mark Listes and Head of Data Science, Sam Clark. Listes is a former national security leader who helped the U.S. Government combat harmful narratives and foreign election interference in 2016, and then went on to help lead the National Security Innovation Network, a U.S. Department of Defense innovation and venture engagement office. Clark is a machine learning expert, who used his expertise in natural language processing to pioneer the novel narrative tracking technology that powers Pendulum’s unique abilities and built the world’s most comprehensive video dataset of election-related misinformation narratives for the 2020 election cycle. The two met at Madrona Venture Labs where they worked with the team and with Madrona managing director, Hope Cochran, to further develop the company. Pendulum will have operations in Seattle, WA.
“It is clear that social media has played a huge role in spreading harmful narratives that are driven by groups or individual creators. Corporations, individuals, and brands are often implicated in these narratives, but until now, they had no predictable way of catching the narrative before it was too late,” said Mark Listes, CEO. “By applying AI and ML to these complex mediums, we enable our customers to understand the growth of specific narratives and make data-informed decisions to stay ahead of the threats and opportunities.”
“The rise of potentially harmful narratives that espouse a perspective at odds with reality and demand action have been dramatic and are real threats to our institutions and organizations,“ commented Hope Cochran, managing director, Madrona Venture Group. “Pendulum provides visibility that boards, corporate risk intelligence, government and other organizations need to identify and take quick action against the rising narratives in their nascent stages. The Pendulum team is uniquely suited to building a platform that will help provide these insights for a broad base of customers.”
Today, narratives are created easily, rapidly spread, and inspire online and, increasingly, in person action. In today’s world, narratives can grow and emerge in an online community, before a company or target institution is even aware of it. Pendulum empowers customers to be proactive and informed early, and enables them to engage with creators and their audiences to better understand these narratives and their origins.
Pendulum has already begun working with early customers to identify risks contained in harmful narratives that are impacting their companies, employees, and society. They plan to make the technology more broadly available to new customers later this year.
About Madrona Venture Labs & Madrona Venture Group
Madrona Venture Labs is the incubation arm of Madrona Venture Group--the leading venture capital firm in the PNW, which in the past 13 months raised $620 million for investing from the earliest days through the company’s journey. Together, they partner with founders from day one to build venture-scale companies. A 100% operator-led studio, MVL represents an integral part in Madrona’s continuum of Day One for the long-run commitment to founders.
Ceres | January 17, 2022
In response to the federal government's request for comments on draft regulations that would revise the federal procurement process to factor in sustainability in government purchasing, Ceres submitted recommendations that would help reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) while incentivizing zero-carbon innovation. The U.S. government is the world's largest purchaser of products and services, spending around $665 billion in 2020.
Last year, President Joe Biden called the climate crisis a challenge that would require a "whole-of-government approach, and followed up on this statement by issuing an Executive Order and sustainability plan in December 2021. It outlined targets for federal climate-focused procurements that would significantly reduce carbon emissions from large federal vendors.
In its recommendations, Ceres is calling on the government to:
Require major suppliers demonstrate a commitment to Paris climate targets, including annually disclosing GHG emissions and a science-based plan for reducing those emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner.
Deliver substantial reductions in the government's own GHG emissions; achieve mass commercialization of products essential to meeting Paris climate targets; and address long-standing racial and social inequities resulting from climate.
Institute a new competitive bidding process focused on high-priority, zero-carbon products to reward and incentivize technological innovations and cost reductions in these products.
Utilize federal grants and loans to reduce GHG emissions through the procurement program, with a focus on large-scale grant funding authorized by the new bipartisan infrastructure law.
"If we want to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, we need to produce substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030. With our recommendations, the new sustainability-focused federal procurement program can help to make dramatic progress on climate change, fuel bold innovation, create new green jobs, and promote environmental justice," said Steven M. Rothstein, Managing Director of the Ceres Accelerator for Capital Sustainable Markets at Ceres. "We look forward to working with the administration, investors, companies and other stakeholders to improve the program and ensure quick and successful implementation."
HawkEye 360 | January 11, 2022
HawkEye 360 Inc., the world's leading commercial provider of space-based radio frequency (RF) data and analytics, today announced it has been awarded a three year, $15.5 million Experimental Purpose Agreement (EPA) contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate. Through the agreement, HawkEye 360 will provide radio frequency analytics research, development, and experiments to help the government demonstrate, test and evaluate its hybrid space ISR architecture.
"This agreement is a tremendous opportunity for HawkEye 360 to showcase the whole spectrum of capability we offer the government as it develops its space architectures," said CEO John Serafini. "We deliver value not only through the efficient tasking, collection and delivery of our RF data, which has never before been commercially available, but also through embedded operational support and enhanced analytics capabilities, deriving applicable insights for diverse end users. Ultimately, we hope to shape a pathway for further integration of valuable commercial capabilities into the government's space architecture."
HawkEye 360 has previously supported numerous Air Force Research Laboratory exercises, but had never done so through a direct contract vehicle. As part of the new agreement, HawkEye 360 will support a variety of operational use cases by providing embedded personnel support, data collection, tools for data ingestion, analytics and more. The agreement scope includes participating military exercises, such as the Rim of the Pacific Exercises, to introduce new capabilities to the warfighter and identify ways to improve and integrate into operational workflows.
The EPA contract vehicle is available for use by all Combatant Commands as they look to test and demonstrate innovative commercial RF data and analytics to include Direct Downlink to government ground stations.
"We appreciate the opportunity to partner with one of the most prestigious military research organizations in the world," said Alex Fox, Executive Vice President for Global Growth. "Our team is excited to be part of an AFRL program focused on developing and transitioning space capabilities for more effective and affordable warfighter missions. We share AFRL's vision for a hybrid government and commercial ISR architecture to address growing global threats and to provide the warfighter with high-impact insights needed to support their mission."
"The Department of Defense constantly seeks to identify, evaluate and recommend commercial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities for integration into United States Air Force and United States Space Force workflows," said AFRL Technical Program Manager Charlene Jacka. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to explore at greater scale and depth, using real-world scenarios, how a leading radio frequency data and analytics provider such as HawkEye 360 can supplement and strengthen our hybrid satellite ISR architecture, and to develop new tactics, techniques and procedures to enable further utility assessments."
HawkEye 360 operates a growing constellation of satellites which detects, characterizes and precisely geolocates radio frequency signals from a broad range of emitters used for communication, navigation and security. By processing and analyzing this RF data, the company delivers high-impact actionable insights across a broad range of sectors, including environmental protection and national security.
About Hawkeye 360
HawkEye 360 is a Radio Frequency (RF) data analytics company. We operate a first-of-its-kind commercial satellite constellation to identify, characterize, and geolocate a broad set of RF signals. We extract value from this unique data through proprietary algorithms, fusing it with other sources to create powerful analytical products that solve hard challenges for our global customers. Our products include maritime domain awareness and spectrum mapping and monitoring; our customers include a wide range of commercial, government and international entities.
Tyler Technologies | January 05, 2022
Tyler Technologies, Inc. today announced that the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA), on behalf of the state of Colorado, has signed a contract extension for Tyler’s award-winning digital government and payments services.
The one-year agreement extends the existing 17-year relationship between Colorado’s SIPA and Tyler’s subsidiary, NIC.
In the state of Colorado, Tyler’s NIC Division currently provides more than 1,100 digital government services, working with 580 state and local government entities and securely processing more than 8 million transactions. Among those services is a multi-award-winning content management system hosting more than 400 websites for government partners, including the state’s official website, Colorado.gov.
Additionally, Tyler recently signed a 10-year agreement with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), Division of Professions and Occupations, for Tyler’s ETK Regulatory™ solution, its Socrata® insights solution for analytics, its mobile inspection solution, and NIC Payments™, an electronic payment solution.
“The solutions we provide across the state of Colorado create smarter, safer, and stronger communities and meet residents’ growing demand for access to convenient, easy-to-use, and secure digital services,” said Elizabeth Proudfit, president of Tyler’s NIC Division. “We are thrilled to extend this trusted partnership and look forward to continuing to empower state and local governments in Colorado to drive impactful digital transformation.”
About Tyler Technologies and NIC
Acquired by Tyler Technologies on April 21, 2021, NIC is a leader in digital government solutions and payments, partnering with government to deliver user-friendly digital services that make it easier and more efficient to interact with government. NIC and Tyler are united in their mission to empower public sector entities to operate more efficiently and connect more transparently with their constituents and with each other. Tyler has more than 37,000 successful installations across more than 12,000 locations, with clients in all 50 states, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and other international locations. Tyler has been named to Government Technology's GovTech 100 list five times and has been recognized three times on Forbes' "Most Innovative Growth Companies" list.