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Draper Associates invests in Singaporean deep tech startup Reality Detector

Written by Yin Lin Tan Published on 

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The startup delivers a video-based deception detection software and claims to be the first of its kind in Singapore.

Silicon Valley-based early-stage venture capital firm Draper Associates has invested SGD 500,000 (USD 368,000) in Singapore-based deep-tech startup, Reality Detector, the VC firm announced on Wednesday.

The startup previously held a pre-seed investment round which was supported by Draper Startup House, a Singapore-originated startup ecosystem builder and hospitality chain backed by Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates.

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“We are rooting for Reality Detector to execute their vision of digitizing the lie detector,” Vikram Bharati, founder of Draper Startup House, told KrASIA. “If they can build their product, it’ll be huge.”

Reality Detector was founded in 2019 and claims to be the “first [startup] of its kind in Singapore”. The firm aims to “reveal incongruent words and actions at a glance” by providing a video-based deception detection software that utilizes behavioral science, AI, deep learning, and computer vision methods.

The software identifies deception cues, or facial and bodily signs that an individual may be lying, in videos without requiring physical contact. The startup suggests that its software solution can be used to ensure that individuals declare their travel history truthfully, “especially in the world of post-COVID normal,” or validate interviewees’ responses.

According to the company, existing methods for detecting deception, such as polygraphs, can often be inaccurate. In 2018, the polygraph industry was worth USD 2 billion in the US, which conducts approximately 2.5 million polygraph tests every year. However, alternatives such as EyeDetect, an eye-scanning lie detector, have also come under scrutiny for unreliability and inaccuracy.

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