Stockholm-based Besedo, a leader in User-Generated Content (UGC) moderation has merged with ioSquare, a French startup company specialising in automated content moderation. The agreement is a cash-and-share deal that sees ioSquare, valued at €5 million, take a stake in Besedo, making the joint entity a global market leader.
The merger will fuel marketplaces with a best-of-breed solution that is both highly accurate and cost-effective. The combination of Besedo’s human moderation services and ioSquare’s cutting-edge automation technology, makes the merger truly unique.
The solution will also be plugging a gap customers have been crying out for as Maxence Bernard, CEO at ioSquare explains: “No solution currently addresses the full spectrum of content moderation needs today. What we see in the market is in-house platforms or stopgap solutions that only address part of the problem.”
“We are now able to offer a fully-integrated platform, where human intelligence and artificial intelligence complement each other to deliver best-in-class results. The combination of state-of-the-art deep learning technology and skilled manual workforce will allow us to reach new levels of accuracy and efficiency and will place us right at the heart of the content moderation tools and services ecosystem,” concluded Bernard.
“The market is moving quickly and we see real opportunities for rapid growth,” said Patrik Frisk, CEO at Besedo. “The baseline expectation is that the deal will see us double in size in three years in terms of revenue, from the €17 million of sales expected in 2016. However, more importantly we are expecting a hypergrowth in the amount of data we process, which could be as high as ten times the volumes we currently handle.”
This growth will be supported by the expected boom of the sharing economy over the coming years.
There will be opportunities to add new technology and services in the future as Frisk explains: “Initially we will be offering a solution focusing on text and images, however, we are already looking at how we might add video and virtual reality in the near future and also expand into social media and e-commerce. The opportunities over the coming years are huge. This merger will allow the new company to truly innovate and lead the market.”
Post merger, new offices are planned for Asia and the US to aid faster growth, adding to its existing offices in Sweden, Colombia, Malaysia, Malta, Romania and France. There are also plans for an initial public offering in Stockholm in two to five years as Frisk explains: “We have a plan for an IPO in probably two to five years. We want to get traction on this, and then it makes sense to look at that option. There could be other alternatives as well, but I think that’s our main call right now.”
Notes to editors:
Besedo – Stockholm-based Besedo is a leading content moderating solution provider with around 500 employees and 20 clients including the likes of Ebay Inc, classified and advertisements company OLX Inc. and Schibsted ASA-sites.
ioSquare – Paris-based ioSquare specializes in the automation of content moderation. Its technology leverages state-of-the-art machine learning and natural language processing techniques, for unprecedented results.
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