This year's Cyber Monday was historic. With holiday shoppers spending close to $11 billion, the U.S. set a record for its largest internet shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics data. But how do these shoppers know what they're purchasing is the real deal? Enter Fakespot, a platform that just raised $4 million dollars to help consumers protect themselves from e-commerce scams in real-time on leading online marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and Shopify sites.
"There's not many people in the corner that are protecting consumers from e-commerce scams. They're everywhere," said Saoud Khalifah, co-founder and CEO of Fakespot. "We're really excited to protect the consumers from these scams."
The startup's mission is to bring trust and transparency to the Internet, starting with e-commerce. Fakespot is doing this by utilizing proprietary AI and machine learning to analyze critical data points including reviews, third-party sellers, and reputation data. Khalifah adds, "We've amassed over eight billion reviews. Just to give you a comparison, Tripadvisor has over 800 million reviews. So we utilize this huge dataset for our supervised training, for our artificial intelligence, and it makes us better and [puts] us 10 steps ahead of all the fraudsters."
Consumers can install Fakespot through a Google Chrome extension. Then, in real-time, online shoppers will be notified whether the reviews they are reading are real or fake. "If you're browsing Amazon.com, we will, in real-time, show grades from an A to an F, meaning you can trust the reviews that you're reading, or you can move to the next product if the grade is an F," according to Khalifah. "We also detect fake sellers and counterfeits, and many other issues that are now plaguing e-commerce."
One e-commerce giant that Fakespot is ready to deploy its newest technology on is Shopify. "We will be detecting fake stores, hack stores, [and] stores that will siphon off your private information, which is a [bigger] problem than most people know … we're looking to encapsulate the whole e-commerce market with our protective services," he said.
As online shopping continues to become more and more popular with shoppers, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, Fakespot is taking pride in its new and innovative platform. "We're one of the first pioneers in this space for consumer technology and the protection of people on fraud. There's not many companies in this space," Khalifah says. "This industry's very nascent and we have a lot of potential here. And the market is just growing."