Mercia Equity Finance and XTX Ventures back Logically to combat fake news
NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance and XTX Ventures has invested GBP2.5 million in Logically, a tech startup using AI to detect misinformation and to provide a fact-checking service to combat fake news ahead of the US election.
Logically was founded in 2017 by Lyric Jain, a graduate of Cambridge and MIT, after witnessing the public debate about Brexit and the 2016 US elections.
The company now employs 15 staff in Yorkshire and around the same number in London. “With the rise of the internet and social media, falsehoods travel faster than the truth. Misinformation can polarise societies and has become a serious threat to democracy,” said CEO Lyric Jain.
Logically uses a team of fact-checkers alongside AI and digital forensics to analyse media stories and conspiracy theories.
The company also tracks sources of disinformation; recently it identified false information purporting to link Covid-19 to 5G phone masts. It has now secured contracts in the US with public sector and social media platforms to report on the US elections.
“Logically aims to stop the spread of disinformation, ensure people see both sides of the story and keep elections free and fair. Following on from our early successes in India and Europe, we are looking to establish Logically as a partner for governments, businesses and consumers around the world,” commented Jain.
NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, while XTX Ventures is the venture capital arm of XTX Markets, an algorithmic trading firm. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is financially supported by the European Union.
Logically has a free app for consumers and works with governments, news organisations and social media platforms to help prevent misinformation. The platform was used in the 2019 Indian general and regional elections.
“[Logically] is well placed to work alongside social media platforms like Facebook, as well as Government bodies and businesses, to tackle the growing issue of fake news,” said Ashwin Kumaraswarmy, investment manager at Mercia.