Madrid-based Smart Protection raises €5.2 million Series A to combat online piracy

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Madrid-based Smart Protection, a technology startup dedicated to combating online piracy and counterfeiting, has raised a €5.2 million Series A round led by the pan-European VC Nauta Capital.

The company’s existing backers Wayra (Telefonica’s open innovation hub), JME Ventures, Bankinter (through their program Startups of Bankinter Innovation Foundation) and Big Sur Ventures also participated in the round.

Founded in 2015 by Javier Capilla, Manuel Moregal and Javier Perea, Smart Protection was set-up to solve the problems of online piracy and counterfeiting for companies that own intellectual or industrial property rights, or distribute content or products online.

Smart Protection’s platform detects and eliminates brand and product infringements on the internet by first monitoring the web to capture and identify a brand’s assets using data technologies. The startup then analyses the gathered information by combining machine learning technology with cybersecurity experts to eliminate infringements at over 95% efficiency.

Smart Protection takes down links used for piracy or counterfeiting in a matter of hours. To date, Smart Protection has delisted over 11 million hyperlinks on Google.

“By means of this form of protection, our solution reduces losses in sales while brand reputation is protected from cybercriminals,” said Javier Perea, CEO and co-founder of Smart Protection. “This partnership with Nauta will boost the development of our AI technology, facilitate international expansion and also allow us to recruit the best talent in order to build an increasingly secure internet.”

The company’s protection service is based on a modular SaaS platform that adapts to the needs of each client, who can decide which avenues to monitor depending on where their problem is located on the internet: search engines, online marketplaces, social networks, apps, P2P torrents, and download or counterfeit websites.

According to the International Trademark Association, worldwide losses due to online piracy were worth over $760 billion in 2017 and are estimated exceed $1.2 trillion in 2022.

With customers in 18 countries across Europe, US and LATAM, Smart Protection counts some of the world’s biggest television and media publishers as customers including Warner Bros Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, and Movistar+ amongst others.

“Smart Protection has developed a world-class technical platform able to take down illegal content from the internet efficiently—often surpassing competitors that have raised significant amounts of money,” said Jordi Vinas, general partner at Nauta Capital. “From our first interaction with the team, we were impressed with their track-record and stellar team, and we look forward to working together on the mission to make Smart Protection the go-to anti-piracy platform of the internet.”