A presentation to investors obtained by The Washington Post has revealed the extent of Clearview AI’s ambitions, including a massive expansion of its face database and the addition of new biometric capabilities to its platform.
The company has become notorious for trawling the internet – including social media platforms – to build a massive image database for a facial recognition platform that it has pitched to law enforcement agencies and private sector organizations. It has been asked by the likes of Twitter and Facebook to stop extracting images from their platforms, and it has come under scrutiny from multiple government regulatory agencies around the world.
In response, Clearview has not only persisted, but is aiming to accelerate its efforts. Its database recently passed the 10 billion-image mark, and its investor pitch deck indicated that the company is “on track” to reach 100 billion face images within a year, according to the Post‘s report. The company is seeking to reach a point at which “almost everyone in the world will be identifiable.”
The pitch deck also indicated Clearview’s ambition to target additional markets beyond the police sector, taking aim at prospective clients in areas such as the gig economy, in which its technology could be used to monitor workers. That jibes with a recent statement from Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That in which he said that Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber represent “examples of the types of firms who have expressed interest in Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology for the purposes of consent-based identity verification”.
Retail, online shopping, and financial services were listed as other potential revenue sources, with government contracts reflecting only a small share of what Clearview AI believes to be its total addressable market.
That having been said, the company’s pitch deck, which was obtained by the Post from an individual who attended an investor presentation in December, indicated that Clearview expects its revenues from federal government agencies to reach $6 million in 2022, thanks to contracts with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, as well as an anticipated contract expansion with the Drug Enforcement Agency. Clearview also recently won a smartglasses-focused research contract from the Air Force.
And a “rapid international expansion” is underway, with Clearview asserting that it has signed contracts with entities in Costa Rica and Panama and is pursuing further opportunities in Latin America.
A technological expansion is also in the cards. Clearview AI tells investors in its pitch deck that it is pursuing R&D efforts pertaining to gait recognition and the contactless identification of fingerprints, as well as computer vision capabilities enabling the recognition of guns, drugs, and license plates.
The company was looking to raise $50 million to fuel all of these efforts through a Series C funding round. Funds would be used to build out its engineering and sales teams, increase data acquisition, and lobby government regulators, among other business activities.
February 18, 2022 – by Alex Perala