Spain’s Smart Protection raise €10m for anti-piracy platform

Spain’s Smart Protection has raised €10m in a second-round financing that will be used to expand further overseas.

The five-year-old Madrid-based company – which specialises in protecting brands against counterfeits and brand abuse online, says the Series B takes its total fundraising to €20m.

Smart Protection has built a machine learning-based platform that it says can automatically detect and eliminate counterfeit products and unauthorised uses of brand names on the Internet, as well as protecting audio-visual and publishing content from piracy.

Chief executive and co-founder Javier Perea (pictured) said the cash injection will be used to “accelerate our international expansion and broaden our technological solutions to protect brands from reputational damage and the loss of profits that counterfeits online cause.”

The company’s first foray into the area came with a contract for Green Moon Productions, a production company owned by Spanish actor, film producer and director Antonio Banderas. Since then it has expanded quickly, adding customers in more than 25 countries, and now makes more than 75 per cent of its revenues outside Spain.

The latest financing round was co-led by venture capital firms Knight Capital and Swanlaab Venture Factory, as well as Spanish National Innovation Agency (CDTI).

Participants also featured  telecoms giant Telefónica via its investment vehicle Telefónica Tech Ventures, which focuses on cybersecurity ventures, along with Nauta Capital, JME Ventures, Bankinter, Big Sur Ventures.

Smart Protection’s customers have included media companies Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures, watchmaker Briston and apparel company Pikolinos.

The company says in a recent blog post there are six e-commerce myths that need to be dispelled, based on its consumer research.

  • Only products from the most well-known brands, or certain categories are at risk
  • It´s easy to identify counterfeits online
  • Counterfeit prices are always low, and delivery times are long
  • E-commerce counterfeits are not found or promoted on well-established marketplaces or social networks
  • E-commerce counterfeits are always low quality
  • There is little or nothing that brands can do to remove counterfeits, the cost is simply too great

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