Pocstock, a global diversity content company, has successfully raised funds to further tap into artificial intelligence (AI).

In a news release, the company announced that it secured $500,000 in a seed funding round led by 9.58 Venture Partners.

The round brings the company’s total funding to $1.4 million, according to Crunchbase.

“This first round of institutional investment represents a significant milestone for Pocstock, and we are very excited about the growth opportunities it brings. Our team is fully dedicated to our mission to increase inclusivity in advertising and media, and we’re excited to have 9.58 Venture Partners in our investor community,” explained Pocstock CEO Steve Jones in a press release.

Fred Toney, co-founder of 9.58 Ventures, also shared a press statement.

“There’s a reason Pocstock was selected as an initial investment by 9.58 Ventures,” Toney said. “Pocstock is a company that’s reimagining the marketing and advertising industries, given its mission to drive diversity, representation, authenticity and inclusion, which completely aligns with ours and the professional athletes and celebrities.”

As AFROTECH previously told you, Pocstock was founded in 2019 by Jones (chief executive officer), Tamara Fleming (chief content officer), and DeSean Brown (chief relationship officer). It was intended to be a hub for more quality images of minority groups through stock photos.

“We want to make sure people of color are included in the mix. There are so many different places where we are fighting for representation. We are fighting to be valued, heard, and seen. We want to make sure we are one of the solutions for that representation,” Jones told AFROTECH.

The new funding round supports Jones’ mission as they plan to reach more customers globally by hiring a more robust team and improving their technology platform.

Furthermore, Pocstock plans to utilize AI to better service customers and provide photographers “cutting-edge, diversity-imaging solutions.”

While it plans to utilize the technology, it also aims to tackle the issues relating to AI, leveraging their core commitment to inclusive imagery as an advantage.

“As with any frontier, especially technology, there will be a rush to get products out to the market,” Jones said in a newsletter shared on LinkedIn. “Tech is all about breaking it, fixing it, and figuring it out as the market’s needs shape the product, but AI cannot be one of them. We cannot let poorly trained AI models loose on the world and then recall it, like other products. AI is not born intelligent. It learns to mimic human intelligence by being trained using massive amounts of data. It can learn to be racist from the data it receives, and pocstock has the type of data it needs.”