Start-up Smart Protection raises €5.2m in first round financing

A Spanish company that aims to tackle online piracy – Smart Protection – has raised 5.2m in a Series A round that will be used to bring its artificial intelligence-based platform onto the international stage.

The Madrid-based start-up was founded in 2015 by Javier Capilla, Manuel Moregal and Javier Perea, and follows a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model for online content and brand protection that is already being deployed by companies like Warner Bros Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures and McAfee.

The machine learning and big data processing system detects and eliminates brand and product infringements on the Internet and can take down links used for counterfeiting or piracy in a matter of hours, according to the company. Smart Protection says its platform has already been used to delist more than 11m Google hyperlinks since its launch.

The financing round has been led by Nauta Capital, with existing investors Wayra, JME Ventures, Bankinter, and Big Sur Ventures also contributing to the round.“By means of this form of protection, our solution reduces losses in sales while brand reputation is protected from cybercriminals,” said Perea, who is chief executive 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.”

Almost 190bn visits were made to illegal piracy websites in 2018, according to MUSO, a company that tracks digital audio-visual piracy, with consumers moving towards illegal streaming services and away from downloading.

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