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Hyderabad, NFAPost: Fakespot (www.fakespot.com), the leading platform for consumers to protect themselves from eCommerce scams on Amazon, Walmart and Shopify sites, announced that it has secured a $4 million in Series A funding led by Bullpen Capital with participation from Graph Ventures, Ty Shay, 500 Startups, Faith Capital Holdings, and founders Saoud Khalifah and Rob Gross.

Fakespot will use the funding to expand its product offerings to its rapidly growing user base that is eager to avoid the growing problem with eCommerce scams on the top online marketplaces.

Fakespot co-founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah said the company is very proud to have secured funding to continue building the next-generation platform that protects consumers from fraud.

“As more and more of our daily actions are done online, the importance of trust has grown exponentially and Fakespot intends to be the leader in building technology and products that tackle fake reviews, fake sellers and more. In Bullpen Capital, we have the ideal partner that has extensive knowledge of our industry and we are incredibly excited to craft the success story together,” said Saoud Khalifah.

Fakespot’s mission is to bring trust and transparency to the Internet, starting with eCommerce. Utilizing a proprietary AI and Machine Learning platform that analyzes many critical data points including reviews, third-party sellers, and reputation data, Fakespot is trusted by over 325,000 users to save time, money, and frustration while shopping online.

By downloading Fakespot’s Chrome Extension, consumers can easily detect unreliable third-party sellers and fake reviews in real-time. With no one having consumers’ backs, Fakespot is uniquely positioned to help consumers recognize misinformation and fraud online before they get ripped off.

Commenting on the new investment, Bullpen Capital’s Paul Martino said online shopping has accelerated dramatically over the last 8 months and it’s very likely that this trend will continue after the COVID-19 pandemic ends as shoppers permanently re-evaluate what they actually need to go to the store for.

“At the same time, this e-commerce boom has also increased activity from bad actors falsifying product listings and reviews in order to put one over on shoppers. We’re excited to lead this funding round and work with Fakespot to root out these bad actors,” said Bullpen Capital’s Paul Martino.

Prior to raising its Series A, Fakespot’s seed rounds were led by Philadelphia’s SRI Capital. SRI Capital recognized early on Fakespot’s potential to make big impact on the way people shop online.

SRI Capital’s Doc Parghi said the trillion-dollar e-commerce economy is based on consumer reviews and many of those are fake. 

“This already huge problem has increased dramatically during pandemic and Fakespot’s machine learning platform tackles this problem head on,” said Doc Parghi.

According to new data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. Nike says the move to online shopping will likely be permanent, as COVID accelerated the trend.

Ecommerce is projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2020 and department stores are expected to decline by over 60% for the full year. With Amazon’s sixth-annual Prime Day in the books and the holiday shopping season approaching, online sales continue to climb as the pandemic brings more lockdowns worldwide.

According to a Digital Commerce 360’s annual retailer holiday survey completed by 118 retailers released in September, 33% of retailers project web sales this holiday season to increase as much as 24%, while an additional 34% are predicting gains of 25% or more.  

Since re-launching its Chrome Extension with seller ratings earlier this year, Fakespot has seen explosive growth.  Over the past four months, Fakespot has grown by over 250% with over 325,000 extension installs. This explosive growth has been fueled by providing users with features they actually need such as Highlights which provides the most important product information from real reviews.

Fakespot’s Chrome Extension also analyzes third-party sellers in addition to fake reviews. Everyone talks about fake reviews, but only Fakespot protects online shoppers from unreliable third-party sellers who try to trick consumers into buying bad products. 

Fakespot provides consumers with the best way to shop online by guiding consumers to the best products from the best sellers in real-time on leading online marketplaces including Amazon,Walmart, eBay, Best Buy, Sephora, and every Shopify powered site.

Using proprietary eCommerce AI Engines, Fakespot saves consumers time, money and frustration by helping them avoid unreliable products, sellers, reviews and counterfeits while providing the most accurate information to get what they want without having to worry about returns.

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