Artificial intelligence will safeguard children and young people online: Dream team of Norwegian investors will contribute to international growth to prevent cyber grooming and toxicity.
Firda, Antler, Wiski and Startuplab have invested in Aiba AS, a startup from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Together, they will take the company out into the world to stop cyber grooming and toxicity against children and young people around the world.

“We have funding, access to expertise and networks from Norway’s most experienced technology founders. We will now hire top talents who share our vision of safe digital lives for kids and young people, and who are motivated to take part in a global journey “, says Hege Tokerud, CEO of Aiba.

“Wiski Capital invests in the top companies and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to make the world a better place. The challenges with internet safety that Aiba’s technology adresses, in combination with the team, make us proud to be investors and to contribute to Aiba ”, says Lars Lydersen, partner in Wiski Capital and chairperson of Aiba.

Aiba is a spin-off from the information security environment at NTNU and offers solutions to, among others, gaming companies and public authorities to secure children and young people on digital platforms. Aiba does this by using artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioral biometrics that can detect and predict potentially harmful conversations in real-time at an early stage.

“It is incredibly motivating to see that a research idea that started many years ago has now become a company with international ambitions and heavy players behind it. The university’s vision is knowledge for a better world and Aiba is a great example of this “, says Nils Kalstad who heads NTNU’s Department of Information Security and Communication Technology.

There are over 3 billion users on the Internet today and one in three is under the age of 18. An excessive proportion of them have experienced unwanted approaches from adults with dishonest intentions. For many, they will be harmed for life. Aiba’s solution is a major step towards detecting this type of behavior while it is happening, and can thus to a far greater extent prevent escalation to more serious abuses. 

“There is no indication that children will spend less time online in the future, so such a solution is instrumental in protecting the most precious thing we have – our children. The environment for information security and biometrics at Gjøvik is world leading and the team behind Aiba is very solid. StartupLab is pleased to be able to contribute to Aiba’s vision of making the Internet a safer place”, says Lise Fulland, Investment Director at StartupLab

Aiba is on its way to test the solution together with the Norwegian police and global gaming companies. “We are proud to work with ambitious companies that show great social responsibility. Our partners really care about their users and the safety of children and young people online”, says Hege Tokerud. 

“Child safeguarding issues are of paramount importance for MovieStarPlanet. This means that are we committed to creating online games that are fun and safe for children to engage with. A safety by design philosophy is encompassed in our approach to developing, maintaining, and moderating the games that we produce. We are therefore proud to collaborate with Aiba in relation to the artificial intelligence tools they are developing to further ensure that children are safeguarding when playing online games. It is important that human Moderation is combined with effective AI tools as part of comprehensive child safeguarding policies and procedures. We have been impressed by the knowledge, skill and professionalism that Aiba have shown in developing AI tools to protect children online and we are looking forward to incorporating these tools in the games that we produce, as part of our child safeguarding measures,” says Vernon Jones, Head of Safety and Support in MovieStarPlanet.

The goal is to detect high-risk conversations before harmful activity occurs for the child, this can be, for example, picture and video exchanges or agreements about physical meetings.

“The police’s main strategy is to prevent crime. The police do the most good for themselves by preventing crime from happening instead of repairing it afterwards. An increasing number of children and young people are exposed to online grooming every day and more have their lives ruined. This is not a problem the police can investigate or stop alone. The police must to a greater extent cooperate with public agencies, voluntary actors and the business community to get ahead of crime. The Innlandet Police have chosen to cooperate with Aiba because we strongly believe that their tools will prevent children and young people from being exposed to cyberbullying and unwanted actions from adults with dishonest intentions “, says Rune Otterstad, Operations Unit Manager at the Innlandet Police in Norway.

About Aiba AS

Aiba AS was established on 1 April 2022 in Gjøvik. The company is based on the research of Professor Patrick Bours’ team at the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology at NTNU, while the commercialization work was under the auspices of NTNU Technology Transfer AS until the company was established. The founding team consists of Patrick Bours (inventor), Hege Tokerud (CEO), Gard Støe (CTO) and Sushma Venkatesh (AI / ML expert), and continues to grow. In addition, the company´s experienced a board consisting of Lars Lydersen, Anne-Lise Waal and Ralph Natter Berg. Aiba has raised over 7 MNOK in pre-seed round in June / July 2022 from, among others, Wiski Capital, Firda Seed, Antler, Startuplab, Anne Lise Waal, Ralph Natter Berg, Christian Hedløv Engh and Christian Hager.

About MovieStarPlanet

MovieStarPlanet ApS is the global company behind MovieStarPlanet, BooniePlanet and BlockStarPlanet – the games and social networks for kids. Since launch in Denmark in 2009, MovieStarPlanet ApS has experienced explosive growth. Their games are live in 16 countries across 11 European markets as well as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Globally we rank among the most popular virtual worlds for the target group with more than 400 million registered profiles.

Hege Tokerud, CEO Aiba AS, + 47 996 42 077,