'Bot police' venture ShieldSquare raises Series A round led by Endiya, RPG Ventures
ShieldSquare, a startup in the bot (automated programs with malicious intent) mitigation and management space, has raised a Series A round of funding led by Endiya Partners and RPG Ventures. Anthill Ventures and existing investors StartupXseed, Venture Highway, and a few other angel investors also participated in this round.
Story so far
Founded in 2014 by Srikanth Konijeti, Jyoti Kakatkar, Vasanth Kumar Gopalakrishnan, and Rakesh and Pavan Thatha, ShieldSquare helps online businesses differentiate between human and non-human traffic (bots) on their websites and mobile applications. The startup leverages technology to detect, categorise, and take the right action against malicious bots and to ensure zero false positives.
ShieldSquare claims to process billions of events every day and protect over 60,000 internet properties spread across 70 countries against the threats of web scraping, account takeover, form spam, carding, scalping, ad fraud, and other forms of bot abuse.
Bots have existed for more than a decade for good reasons but are now being used for various malicious purposes. More than half the traffic coming to a website today is non-human, the majority of it malicious. The damage caused by bots and automated attacks severely impacts the competitiveness and growth of businesses today. Pavan, CEO, ShieldSquare, said,
Conventional defences offered by web application firewalls are not sufficient to detect bots and automated attacks. Shieldsquare’s ability to identify sophisticated bot attacks in real time has made it a preferred partner to online businesses in their fight against malicious bots and automated attacks.
ShieldSquare claims to have a strong customer and partner base that spans Fortune 500 companies, Internet Retailer top 10 e-commerce businesses, and Alexa Top 500 sites. The company noted that it was also featured in recent Gartner and Forrester reports related to application security.
Pavan further noted that of the four main services ShieldSquare currently offers, frauds from account takeovers and price scraping from e-commerce platforms are their most sought-after use cases.
Sector overview and future plans
Founded in 2011, Distil Networks, protecting web applications from bad bots, API abuse, and fraud, is one of the mature players in this space. In August 2016, the venture had raised a $21 million Series C round. Closer home in India, InfiSecure, a YourStory Tech 30 startup, too operates in the bot mitigation and management space. The startup had raised $600,000 in seed funding from IDG Ventures and Axilor Ventures.
“The application security market continues to evolve, responding to proliferating advanced automated attacks (via web/mobile/API abuse) and its growing business and political ramifications. ShieldSquare's differentiated and non-intrusive bot mitigation technology, backed by advanced machine learning models, puts it in a driving position to address this global problem at scale,” said Abhishek Srivastava of Endiya Partners.
ShieldSquare noted that the amount, which is undisclosed, will be deployed to strengthen their bot mitigation technology platform and expand their market presence in the US and Europe. ShieldSquare works on a SaaS subscription model with quarterly and annual plans. Pavan noted that they have different scale-as-you-go plans based on a customer's website traffic and the API calls they activate from ShieldSquare.