Blue chip digital security firm targeting new hires and clients
Digital security firm Crisp Thinking is looking to quadruple its customer base over the next three years and embark on a new round of hires.
The firm recently opened a new 7,000 sq ft unit in Leeds’s Central Square development as it looks to expand upon its blue chip client base that boasts the likes of CocaCola, Disney and Chanel.
Now 13 years old, the firm – founded by Adam Hildreth – is looking to build on its vastly expanded growth in recent years, having boosted revenues by a record 70 per cent in the past 12 months.
Crisp acts as a guardian for business by looking at their social media presence for signs of toxic, illegal and brand-damaging content. Online crime is estimated to cost $1m a minute in the United States alone.
The company uses its own artificial intelligence systems to monitor everything in real time and in more than 50 languages, with more than 100 people employed in the UK and a network of 500 more worldwide.
Mr Hildreth, inset, told The Yorkshire Post: “During the last three years we have had big growth of 50 per cent plus year-on-year
“This year will be our biggest at 90 per cent. Plus we will be adding another 50 to 60 people to the team and already taking more space.
“We expect to increase this. We want to hit over 100 per cent yearon-year growth. That will mean hiring more people and also expanding globally in terms of the territories we touch. The market is absolutely massive and we want to go even further. We want to quadruple our customer base over the next three years.”
It focuses on three core areas, namely ensuring children’s markets are safe, protecting the social media presence of big brands and pro-actively identifying problems.
Crisp has sought to differentiate itself from the competition by relying on a mixture of technology and human interfacing.
Its systems analyse everything from pictures, text and video online to identify risks.
“The biggest thing AI can bring is speed. AI will look at the important things first. It becomes more accurate, the more content people look that the less accurate they will become. We are always going to need people, we are not getting to the point of AI calling 999 or 911 to report an issue. You need a person to do that. But it can make sure that that person has the right amount of time to look at it, assess it and decide what needs to be done.
“They then become more efficient about what they do.”
Headquartered in Leeds since its 2005 inception, the firm predominantly works with North America-based brands.
However, Mr Hildreth is adamant he wants to keep the company in the city: “I think we have the best of both worlds. We have large global customers which could be based anywhere in the world.
“But we have all of our research and engineering side of things based out of Leeds where we have brilliant universities and brilliant talent.
“We are introducing Leeds into a lot of global brands who might not have heard of the city.”
After working to tackle bad actions online for more than 13 years, Mr Hildreth says that sex offenders, trolls and online criminals are adopting ever-more sophisticated techniques to evade detection.
Comparing the dynamic to an arms race, he said: “Every time we think we have found a point to stop them they find a way to evade us. Now we are getting better and technology is getting faster.
“We are constantly closing the gap.”
We want to hit over 100 per cent yearon-year growth.