Intrinsic, backed by Y Combinator, is constructing a foundational framework for trust and safety teams.

Karine Mellata and Michael Lin, former engineers at Apple, have teamed up to tackle the issue of online abuse with their new startup, Intrinsic. The duo has raised $3.1 million in a seed round, with backing from Urban Innovation Fund, Y Combinator, 645 Ventures, and Okta. Intrinsic aims to provide safety teams with the necessary tools to prevent abusive behavior on their products, focusing on moderating both user- and AI-generated content.

The platform is designed to help social media companies and e-commerce marketplaces detect and take action on content that violates their policies. Intrinsic’s focus on safety product integration means it can automatically orchestrate tasks such as banning users and flagging content for review.

One of Intrinsic’s key features is its fully customizable AI content moderation platform. Karine Mellata, co-founder of Intrinsic, explains that the platform can help companies avoid legal liabilities by detecting certain types of content, such as providing financial advice or listing illegal products. Intrinsic’s platform provides nuanced categories that cannot be covered by off-the-shelf classifiers and eliminates the need for extensive engineering time to add new automated detection categories in-house.

In contrast to rival platforms like Spectrum Labs, Azure, and Cinder, Intrinsic offers greater tooling and explainability. Intrinsic allows customers to question mistakes made in content moderation decisions and provides explanations for its reasoning. The platform also offers manual review and labeling tools that allow customers to fine-tune moderation models on their own data.

With a focus on reducing moderation costs while maintaining high safety standards, Intrinsic is gaining traction with large enterprise customers. The startup’s near-term plans include expanding its moderation tech to cover video and audio, in addition to text and images.

Karine Mellata emphasizes that Intrinsic is in a unique position in the tech industry, particularly in light of the increasing interest in automation for trust and safety. The platform offers a more cost-effective and efficient solution while catching more abuse than existing vendors or equivalent in-house solutions. As Intrinsic continues to grow, it is working to help build a safer internet for everyone.


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