One Million Raised for VISR, App That Detects Bullying

November 23, 2015 - 3 minutes read

VISR appFor all the good the mobile app economy has done, many parents find a dark side when their children start becoming active online. Bullying, sexting, and social media overload have all earned places in the headlines since iPhones apps became commonplace in the hands of middle and high schoolers. Mobile apps aren’t just for techies and iPhone enthusiasts anymore, and the market is quickly adapting to keep the playground safe for all ages.

VISR is a startup from a group of mobile app developers dedicated to fighting those issues, allowing parents to moderate social media and app usage on their family’s devices without the need for spying or privacy invasion. The idea has found a lot of traction among parents eager to tackle the bullying epidemic, earning the mobile app developers behind VISR one million in funding.

What makes VISR different from other apps aimed at monitoring underage social media accounts among the 8–14-year-old crowd is that the app affords the kids in question a surprising amount of privacy. Parent’s don’t even necessarily need their children’s login info to sign them up — it can be done by entering credentials through the VISR gateway, or sending customized emails to their kids requesting them to link the account themselves.

Rather than seeing everything a monitored account posts, VISR’s mobile app developers utilize algorithms that analyze the language, timing, and image content of posts to look for red flags. The app “learns” what a parent does and doesn’t consider alarming over time based on their reaction to updates. What about nude photos? These are blurred out, so nobody gets any unexpected surprises while checking high-risk activities.

The seed-round funding came from Horizons Ventures. Before the seed round the mobile apps subsisted entirely on government grants, and we’ll surely soon see similar ventures from government and nonprofit organizations backing London iPhone app developers and other tech groups worldwide.

VISR is free for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, as well as via a polished web app interface. Statements from the company indicate that VISR will soon move to a subscription-based model to support the company’s long-term growth as the VISR mobile app development team and their innovative anti-bullying technology proves itself on the market; making childhood online one bit less scary, and perhaps even saving lives.

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