Welcoming the Dessa Team to Square

Feb 07, 2020

We’ve acquired Dessa, a Toronto-based company building machine learning applications that address significant real-world challenges for all types of businesses. Their team of world-class engineers will immediately bolster our machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities at Square.

Machine learning is a critical field in technology today, and we’ve expanded our machine learning work at Square over time through both in-house development and acquisitions like Eloquent Labs. The acquisition of Dessa will help us further boost our machine learning abilities, improve our products, and ultimately pass on the benefits to our customers around the world. For example, machine learning technology can help us enhance products in areas like customer engagement, risk management, and more. We plan to keep hiring top ML and AI talent moving forward to support both the Dessa team and other product teams at Square.

Dessa is a leader in a variety of machine learning technologies and many know them for their work on deepfake detection. While there are legitimate uses for deepfake technology, deepfake audio and video have become a growing security, risk management, and fraud threat across multiple industries and for businesses of all kinds. To help with global deepfake detection efforts, Dessa recently open-sourced their detection technology to share their resources with engineers around the world and raise awareness about the misuse of deepfakes. Given the rapid acceleration of the misuse of deepfake technology and improvements in quality, we believe it’s both timely and smart to have a team with experience in this growing space.

The Dessa team will continue working out of their office in Toronto, with no immediate changes to their existing products, customers, or business operations. Toronto is a global hub for machine learning research and development. We’re excited to expand our presence in the city’s growing tech sector by further investing in Canadian engineering talent.

We are thrilled to have the Dessa team on board and look forward to what we can build for our customers together.