AI-driven brand protection firm Incopro raises $21m

Incopro has raised $21m in backing from Highland Europe that it says will “accelerate the development” of its online brand protection technology.

The company’s platform – called Talisman – can be used to seek out intellectual property infringements online and also identify “networks of illicit behaviour” in real time using machine learning technology, according to the company. It pulls in data from “major platforms ranging from online marketplaces and social media through to websites and app stores,” it says.

The removal of each identified infringement typically occurs within eight to 24 hours, with a 99 per cent success rate, according to Incopro, whose customers currently include Reckitt Benckiser, Ted Baker, ghd, NBC Universal, Harley-Davidson, Hunter, Tangle Teezer, and BBC Studios.

The cash injection will also allow Incopro to expand its operations in Shanghai, China, and build its operations in the US and Europe, according to the firm’s chief executive Simon Baggs, who said the aim is to be able to operate at a global scale.

“Online IP infringement is a global issue that affects companies in all sectors, from luxury goods to automotive spare parts,” he said. It is crucial that an online brand protection strategy truly addresses the root of the problem, rather than just playing a game of ‘whack-a-mole’.”

It has been estimated that 2.5 per cent of world trade is counterfeited and predictions suggest the global economic value of counterfeiting could reach $2.3trn by 2022.

Highland Europe partners Sam Brooks and Gajan Rajanathan are joining the Incopro board as a result of the financing.

“As experienced e-commerce and marketplace investors, we are intimately familiar with both the opportunity and the challenge that brands face from the global secular shift of retail and media consumption,” said Brooks.

“We believe that the scale of the challenge for brand and IP owners is enormous and growing in complexity.”

Incopro was set up in 2012 and launched Talisman two years later. Lat year it moved from London to Caerphilly, Wales, as part of an expansion that saw it create 80 additional jobs and forge closer ties with investigation specialist WR Investigations.

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