ATLANTA, GA –August 29, 2018 —Bark, the award-winning product that helps keep children safer online and in real life, today announced its $9 million Series A investment. The round was led by Signal Peak Ventures, with participation from Two Sigma Ventures and existing investors including Symmetrical Ventures, Fuel Capital, Hallett Capital, and Atlanta Seed Company.
“We’re thrilled to work with Bark on their mission to keep children safer,” said Signal Peak Ventures Managing Director Brandon Tidwell. “As children’s usage of technology continues to increase, there is clearly an incredible need for Bark’s solution, and we believe Bark is uniquely positioned to build a great company in an exciting category.”
Created in collaboration with child psychologists, youth advisors, digital media experts, and law enforcement professionals, Bark delivers a research-backed, kid-friendly solution for safeguarding families in the rapidly changing world of technology. Bark uses advanced machine learning to contextually identify and alert parents to potential threats such as cyberbullying, internet predators, depression, suicidal thoughts, and sexting in their children’s text messages, social media accounts, and email.
“We’re dedicated to partnering with extraordinary founders who are pushing the boundaries of machine learning to build intelligent consumer technology systems; as such, we could not be more excited to work with Brian and the Bark team,” said Dan Abelon, partner at Two Sigma Ventures.
Bark has experienced rapid growth since being founded in 2015, helping to protect over 2 million children across the nation. Bark will use this round of funding to broaden its product offering and establish a presence in new markets.
“We are very excited to welcome Signal Peak and Two Sigma as new investors, and look forward to working closely with them both to accelerate our growth and positive impact on children’s lives,” said CEO and founder Brian Bason.
Following the tragic high school shooting in Parkland in February 2018, Bark announced it was offering its platform for free to any school using Google’s G Suite for Education. In August, Bark rolled out the same functionality for schools using Microsoft Office 365 Education. This powerful offering proactively alerts school administrators to issues detected in school-issued student email, chat, documents, and cloud storage.
“Bark for Schools is the real deal. We didn’t have any sort of content scanning before getting Bark. Within a few days, Bark found multiple issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. When an issue arose that could have been life-threatening for one of our students, a Bark team member called our school to help us take action,” said Thad Schulz, Technology Coordinator, Sebeka Public School.
Bark’s combined coverage of technology used by students while at school in addition to personal devices and accounts used at home helps provide communities a comprehensive way of protecting children online and in real life. To date, Bark has analyzed over 1 billion messages across texting, email, and social media, and has helped to save 33 lives from imminent suicide and helped thwart 12 school shooting and bomb threats.
Bark is available to parents at www.bark.us for $9 per month ($99 annually) per family, which includes monitoring across 25 platforms including text messages, email, and social media.
For more information on how local schools can use Bark for Schools for free, please visit: www.bark.us/schools.
Bark is a digital safety solution endorsed by parents and children alike for its ability to unobtrusively identify threats and provide proactive recommendations. Unlike traditional monitoring tools that require parents to comb through every single post or that use keyword searches that ignore context and history, Bark uses machine learning for more accurate alerts. These alerts are combined with research-based, actionable advice for addressing issues head-on, putting more power in parents’ hands to address digital dangers. Follow Bark on Twitter @JoinBark.