Modulate raises $30 Million in Series A funding to fight online toxicity

The startup will use the fund to better its voice moderation system ToxMod.
Modulate AI and Toxmod logos

Initially launched as a creator of customizable voice skins back in 2017, Modulate improved its machine learning technology and developed an online voice moderation tool called ToxMod to reduce toxicity found across the web.

ToxMod uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scan voice chats in games for toxic speech, but of course, the tool doesn’t stop just here. It also targets illegal activities and aims to help with parental controls in games. Basically, the idea behind ToxMod is to make the internet a safer and more welcoming place for everyone, and the company raised $30 million in a Series A funding round led by Lakestar and supported by investors like Hyperplane Venture Capital, Everblue Management, and Galaxy.

At the time of writing, ToxMod only supports English voice chats, but Modulate plans to use this investment in bettering their AI and products and include more languages in the upcoming years.

ToxMod is also used for proactively protecting children from sexual predators and other illegal activities. The Modulate team also acknowledges that moderation comes with its unique challenges and accepts that “it’s awfully tough job listening to toxic content everyday” and they’re working on finding ways to make the job easier for their teammates and support their mental health as well.

How ToxMod works

Modulate’s CEO and Co-Founder Mike Pappas said they knew the challenge ahead was a tough one when they decided to tackle the online toxicity and make interacting online feel more human and meaningful. Papas says, “People require voice-based interactions in order to convey emotion online,” then adds “Voice processing was so complex that platforms lacked any sort of tools to monitor for toxicity. It was a conundrum.”

The team spent several years and millions of dollars to improve ToxMod and he says they’re incredibly proud of the result they’ve got so far. Papas says they’ll be using this new funding to bring ToxMod to every game, community, and platform to help them protect their users.

Lakestar’s Mika Salmi will also join Modulate’s board following the Series A funding. Salmi says he was quite surprised with how effective and accurate ToxMod functioned.

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