Halifax-based LifeRaft, a Software-as-a-Service security company, has struck a partnership with Denver-based information security company DarkOwl, which will improve its ability to find information on the dark web.

LifeRaft’s main product is Navigator, which helps large organizations and other clients to scan social media and other online material to detect threats against them. Under the new partnership, DarkOwl’s Vision platform will be embedded into Navigator to improve Liferaft’s ability to scan the dark web.

Often used by marginal, criminal or terrorist groups, the dark web is part of the world wide web that is accessible only by special software, and therefore allows these groups to operate privately. By extending its reach into the dark web, LifeRaft aims to improve its clients’ ability to detect groups that may wish them harm.

"DarkOwl is a perfect complement to our expertise in open-source intelligence,” said LifeRaft CEO John Gallinaugh in an email. “We are constantly looking for ways to add value to our customers with additional sources and only look to the best in class to partner. We are quite pleased with the relationship and results of our partnership with DarkOwl."

LifeRaft said that its customers will be able to use DarkOwl’s datasets to search and track important information that could potentially expose them to serious risk – material that in some cases could not be found without these datasets. The material that’s hidden in the dark web may include secure credentials, personal information, intellectual property, stolen credit cards or counterfeit documents, malware and viruses, and “related threat actor chatter”.

Said DarkOwl CEO Mark Turnage in a statement: “This partnership empowers us to put vital, full-scope threat intelligence into the hands of as many organizations as possible. We look forward to continuing to expand our darknet intelligence offering within LifeRaft’s Navigator platform and in doing so, bolstering them as the leading provider of open source intelligence in the industry.”

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LifeRaft started in 2014 to develop technology that could scan social media to find words or phrases that indicated someone was contemplating a crime. The company has refined its mission to helping organizations and large companies find out early if someone wants to harm them.

A year ago, LifeRaft signed a similar partnership with PlanetRisk, a security and risk analytics firm based in Virginia. PlanetRisk has since been acquired by Burlington, Mass.-based Everbridge and LifeRaft has maintained the strategic partnership, which it says has been “very positive.”

A LifeRaft spokeswoman said in an email the company had “excellent” sales growth in 2018, as the internal sales team has met its targets and other lines of revenue have met or exceeded expectations.

She added that the company has been “cash-flow positive for some time” and therefore has not raised capital lately. The last change in its investor group took place in October 2017, when angel investor Mike Durland bought shares from existing shareholders. Durland is also an investor in such Halifax startups as TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture and Peer Ledger.

LifeRaft has just hired four employees, bringing its headcount up to 32. It is now looking to hire a graphic designer/website coordinator as soon as possible.