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Bengaluru-based bot mitigation and management startup ShieldSquare has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding in a round led by Endiya Partners and RPG Ventures. Anthill Ventures and existing investors Startupxseed, Venture Highway and a few angel investors also participated in the round.

In the official statement, the startup revealed plans to use the newly-secured financing to strengthen its bot mitigation technology platform. A portion of the funding will also go into expanding its market presence across the US and Europe.

Commenting on the fundraise, Endiya Partners Director Abhishek Srivastava said, “The application security market continues to evolve, responding to proliferating advanced automated attacks (via web/mobile/API abuse) and its growing business and political ramifications. ShieldSquare’s differentiated and non-intrusive bot mitigation technology, backed by advanced Machine Learning models, puts it in a driving position to address this global problem at scale.”

Endiya Partners is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in innovation led product startups based in India. The firm’s portfolio consists of disruptive startups across technology, healthcare and consumer sectors.

As the venture arm of $3 Bn RPG Group, RPG Ventures serves as an incubator and early stage investor in futuristic businesses within the technology, healthcare and consumer sectors. So far, the firm has backed businesses in the elderly care products, online consumer and cybersecurity areas.

Sharing his views of the latest funding round of ShieldSquare, RPG Ventures Head Kunjan Chikhlikar added, “We are particularly impressed with the team and their ability to build a world-class product and get traction from leading brands globally.”

ShieldSquare: Securing Online Businesses And Websites Against Bot Attacks

ShieldSquare was founded in 2013 by Pavan Thatha, Rakesh Thatha, Vasanth Kumar G, Jyoti Kakatkar, and Srikanth Konijeti. It graduated from the Microsoft Accelerator programme the same year.

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It is a cloud-based, real-time bot prevention solution that helps online businesses differentiate between human and non-human traffic (bots) on their websites and mobile applications. The startup’s technology stack is geared towards preventing and eliminating malicious purposes like web scraping, spam, account takeover, application DDOS attacks and other forms of fraud.

Elaborating on the services that the platform provides, ShieldSquare CEO Pavan Thatha stated, “Conventional defenses offered by web application firewalls are not sufficient to detect bots and automated attacks. Shieldsquare’s ability to identify sophisticated bot attacks in real-time has made it a preferred partner to online businesses in their fight against malicious bots and automated attacks.”

As claimed by Pavan, the startup’s client list includes Fortune 500 companies, ecommerce businesses and Alexa top 500 sites. Its real-time bot mitigation software currently processes billions of events and online activities every day, protecting over 60,000 Internet properties spread across 70 countries. The company has been cash positive since April 2016.

CEO Pavan Thatha On Being Cash Positive And Raising Funding

In October last year, ShieldSquare secured funding from Venture Highway, Vishy Poosala (Engineering Director at Facebook), and existing investors. At the time, it was reported that the startup was looking to use the funds to expand further into the global market, and also strategically enhance the product with new features.

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Prior to that, in August 2015, ShieldSquare raised investment from StartupXseed Ventures, a strategic seed funding company as part of its $4.5 Mn “Aaruha Technology Fund”.

At the time, Thatha told Inc42, “We are very excited for the Seed and Strategic Support from StartupXseed.  With access to best practices, guidance from industry stalwarts, exposure to International Partners and VC partner connections at the initial stage will definitely help provide a cutting edge to us clubbed with a holistic development.”

In 2014, ShieldSquare raised $308.5K (INR 2 Cr) in an angel round from a pool of over 15 investors, entrepreneurs and high net-worth individuals.

Why Bot Mitigation And Management Is Essential Today

Technological advances in recent years have dramatically increased Internet access across the world. Today, nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are consumed every day via emails, videos, images, tweets, and content. The expansion of the scope of Internet, however, has brought with it malicious bots and automated programmes that attack websites and perpetrate fraud.

More than half of the traffic coming to a website today comprises of non-human traffic, and the majority of it is malicious. The damage caused by bots and automated attacks severely impacts the competitiveness and growth of businesses. Startups like ShieldSquare and InfiSecure are working to prevent these instances of fraud and damage.

With the latest round of funding from Endiya Partners, RPG Ventures and others, ShieldSquare is preparing to make bot mitigation and management faster and more efficient.

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