Featured Startup Pitch: Inversoft offers a combination of profanity-filtering moderation tools and outsourced moderation services for managing user-generated content

By Editor May 22, 2012

Inversoft_logoCompany: Inversoft

Website: www.inversoft.com

Founder: Brian Pontarelli

Headquarters: Denver, Colorado

Year Founded: 2007

Twitter: @inversoft

Brief Company Description: Saving the world, one #&%$* at a time…profanity-filtering, moderation tools and outsourced moderation services for managing user-generated content.


Brian_Pontarelli-InversoftBy Brian Pontarelli, CEO

Offering Overview

We provide a complete moderation solution that includes our CleanSpeak moderation platform and outsourced human moderation services.

Our customers use the CleanSpeak moderation platform to manage their games, social networks and other online communities. This is accomplished through the use of CleanSpeak’s sophisticated profanity/content filter, moderation queues, user management tools, and reporting. Additionally, CleanSpeak is enterprise, on-premise software that runs on any platform and can be installed and integrated quickly and easily. CleanSpeak consists of a RESTful WebService and web front-end. The web front-end makes moderators more efficient using a streamlined moderation process that presents all the relevant information quickly and that requires fewer clicks to take the appropriate action on content and users.

Our outsourced moderation services provide our customers with high-quality moderators that have been trained specifically on the CleanSpeak moderation platform. Our moderators work to ensure that online communities are safe and appropriate for all users. By receiving real-time alerts about problem users, our moderators are able to take action quickly before the user impacts the customer’s community and brand.

My Story

The idea for Inversoft and CleanSpeak came to me a number of years ago when I was working for a startup in Chicago called Naymz. One the core features of Naymz at the time was the ability to create ads for user’s names (AdWords, Yahoo!, etc.).

We let users create a profile and write the text of their ad. As you can imagine by allowing users to create the content for their ads, we were exposed to possibility of misuse. I was tasked with finding a way to filter profanity and other words from the ad text. After a lot of research, I realized that there weren’t any solutions available for filtering and moderating user-generated content.

After leaving Naymz, I started working on what would eventually become CleanSpeak. I used the experience I gained while working on high-performance systems at companies such as BEA and Orbitz to create CleanSpeak. By focusing on performance and accuracy, I knew that I could overcome the challenges that traditional profanity filters always ran into (for example, the Scunthrope problem, poor performance when using regular expressions, and many others).

The Difference

To make CleanSpeak the best solution on the market, I took a new approach. I wrote the profanity filter inside CleanSpeak to understand language and be flexible enough to work in many languages. The result was that we immediately reduced the false-positives that plague most profanity filters and could filter thousands of words per-second.

I also built CleanSpeak to be on-premise software rather than a SaaS. This was a major deviation from what most of the market was doing at the time. However, this was the only way we could guarantee to our customers the fastest performance and the most secure solution. Since we work with some of the largest game companies in the world and with companies that deal with kids and teens, we needed to be both fast and secure.

Another key to the success of CleanSpeak has been our focus on our customers. After our first release of CleanSpeak, it was obvious that it wasn’t the perfect solution and was lacking features that would make customers’ lives simpler and make moderators more effective. We listened to the feedback we received from customers and revamped CleanSpeak. We continue to follow this process with each release.

Since many of our customers outsource their moderation to third-party companies, in 2011 I started to kick around the idea of offering moderation services. It seemed like a natural progression for us to start offering moderation services that were specifically trained on the CleanSpeak platform. After refining the idea for a couple of months, we launched our new outsourced moderation offering and will be one of the first companies to offer a full moderation software solution and outsourced moderation services.

Marketing and Promotion

Currently, we market CleanSpeak and our services through online advertising, trade shows, conferences, referrals and word of mouth. Much of our business comes through Google AdWords and customer referrals.

Business Model

We license CleanSpeak to our customers on a yearly basis and provide free support to all our customers. Our moderation services are priced in six hour chunks starting at six hours per day and scaling up to 72 hours-per-day or more.

Inversoft – www.inversoft.com