Anti-counterfeit tech firm bags $21m
A firm which uses machine learning technology to help brands like Ted Baker and Harley Davidson tackle the threat of counterfeiting online has raised $21m to expand.
London-based Incopro will use the funding from growth equity investor Highland Europe to accelerate the development of its Talisman online brand protection technology.
A business idea hatched over coffee in 2011, Incopro combines the legal and technical expertise of co-founders Simon Baggs and Bret Boivin, with the law enforcement and intelligence background of Helen Saunders.
Talisman monitors IP infringements by scouring all corners of the web in real-time using machine learning technology, pulling in data from major platforms ranging from online marketplaces and social media through to websites and app stores.
Intelligent algorithms prioritise the key issues for clients and its automated network analysis identifies sophisticated, large-scale operators.
"Online IP infringement is a global issue that affects companies in all sectors, from luxury goods to automotive spare parts," CEO Simon Baggs said.
"The internet revolution has created a massive challenge for businesses seeking to protect their products and brands from counterfeiting and other forms of brand abuse online. Until now, brands have not been offered the tools to effectively deal with this threat."
The company's other products include Identify, an anti-piracy intelligence tool that tracks over 17,000 piracy websites across the globe; and Spectrum, which helps brands navigate an increasingly opaque ad-buying universe to ensure their adverts are not positioned beside undesirable content.
Incopro will use the investment to accelerate the development of Talisman, building on its AI-driven capabilities to rapidly identify and eliminate IP infringements.
It will also expand its global operations in the US, Europe and China and continue to grow its leadership team.
Sam Brooks, partner of Highland Europe, said: “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.
"We believe that the scale of the challenge for brand and IP owners is enormous and growing in complexity. “We have been impressed by the deep domain expertise that Simon, Bret, Helen and the INCOPRO team have leveraged to build such a compelling platform, protecting the interests of some of the best-known brands globally."
Houlihan Loukey acted as financial advisor to Incopro.