We all know that the Deep Web and Dark Web are out there. You know: those unmapped regions of the Internet where the criminals, fraudsters, terrorists, and other nefarious sorts prefer to operate under the radar. Until they’re ready to strike, of course.
Flashpoint provides clients with the critical missing data and intelligence needed to defend against those malicious elements. The company’s pioneering approach blends subject matter expertise with innovative engineering to deliver the Deep and Dark Web in a sanitized environment.
Not only did they recently close their Series A, but they’re about to roll out a new product. CEO Josh Lefkowitz tells us more.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $5 million in a Series A funding. Flashpoint is backed by TechOperators, Greycroft Partners, K2 Intelligence, Bloomberg Beta, and Cisco Investments.
Tell us about your service.
Flashpoint blends subject matter expertise and innovative engineering to illuminate the Deep and Dark Web and gather intelligence on malicious actors engaged in illicit activity. We provide this intelligence as data services and software to clients in the private and public sectors, namely, large commercial firms and government agencies.
Flashpoint’s management team has been mapping uncharted areas of the Internet for more than a decade, long before it was referred to as the “Deep and Dark Web.”We leverage this experience, along with our archival database, on threat actors to guide our automated tools to gather intelligence from networks of individuals engaged in cybercrime, hacking, credit card fraud, malware development, and terrorism.
Years of experience in the Deep and Dark Web is a key differentiator, but the force multiplier is our creative engineering team working in concert with world class subject matter experts. These experts are intimately familiar with these areas of the Internet, and are fluent not only in the relevant languages such as Arabic, Russian, or Mandarin, for example, but also the content and cultures of these communities, from malware development to the latest criminal exploits.
What inspired you to start the company?
My cofounder and I grew up as analysts, so we experienced first hand the pain points involved in tracking illicit activity in the Deep and Dark Web; we sought to bring efficiencies to the process by leveraging technology and subject matter expert insights.
How is it different?
A key differentiator is our ability to leverage subject matter experts to identify and access exclusive Deep and Dark Web networks —but then gather data using automated tools, rather than manually.
Many companies offer big data analytics layered on top of the flood of data that appears on the surface web every day. Flashpoint gathers only needles and only from select haystacks, but we now gather enough needles for our analysts, and our clients, to perform big data analytics on those unique data sets.
Criminals, fraudsters and terrorists –which group is the biggest threat these days, or is it d) all of the above and why?
All of the above, unfortunately. There are simply too many mechanisms for illicit actors to find sanctuary in the Deep and Dark Web.
What’s your business model?
Software and data services.
What was the funding process like?
Raising capital is a lengthy, time consuming, and distracting process. We were seeking to build a syndicate of investors who could add value beyond the checks they would write. Fortunately, we could not be more excited about the partners we have behind us.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
We are bringing a very innovative, technology-driven approach to address a massive and intractable problem; further, we have built a premiere client base across the Fortune 500 and government landscape.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out Flashpoint’s “Illuminate” platform, an enterprise level web platform that will offer security professionals the critical missing data and intelligence they need to protect their companies and customers from malicious actors operating in the most exclusive venues on the Internet.
Illuminate uniquely empowers companies to discover and monitor previously concealed illicit activity and take informed, proactive steps to defend against existing and looming threats. There has been a substantial region of the Internet walled off to those charged with defending corporations and their customers from criminals, fraudsters, terrorists, and other nefarious actors operating online. With Illuminate, we are bringing the Deep and Dark Web to our clients’ fingertips and enabling them to gain insights into adversaries in ways that haven’t been possible before in a commercial product.
What’s your favorite NY bar, when you’re looking to keep a low profile?
The Half King in Chelsea.