Smart Protection, a technology startup dedicated to combating online piracy and counterfeiting, has announced a € 5.2M Series A round led by pan-European VC Nauta Capital.

The company’s existing backers Wayra (Telefonica’s open innovation hub), JME Ventures, Bankinter (through their program Startups of Bankinter Innovation Foundation) and Big Sur Ventures also participated in the round.

Founded in 2015 by Javier Capilla, Manuel Moregal and Javier Perea, Madrid-based Smart Protection was set-up to solve the problems of online piracy and counterfeiting for companies that own intellectual or industrial property rights and/or distribute content or products online.

Smart Protection’s platform detects and eliminates brand and product infringements on the internet by first monitoring the web to capture and identify a brand’s assets using data technologies. The startup then analyses the gathered information by combining machine learning technology with cybersecurity experts to eliminate infringements at over 95% efficiency.

Through their automated processes — up with agreements with Google and major social networks—Smart Protection takes down links used for piracy or counterfeiting in a matter of hours. To date, Smart Protection has delisted over 11 million hyperlinks on Google.

“This partnership with Nauta will boost the development of our Artificial Intelligence technology, facilitate international expansion and also allow us to recruit the best talent in order to build an increasingly secure internet.”

Javier Perea, CEO and Co-Founder of Smart Protection said: “By means of this form of protection, our solution reduces losses in sales while brand reputation is protected from cybercriminals.”

The company’s protection service is based on a modular SaaS platform that adapts to the needs of each client, who can decide which avenues to monitor depending on where their problem is located on the internet: search engines, online marketplaces, social networks, apps, P2P torrents, and download or counterfeit websites.

With customers in 18 countries across Europe, US and LATAM, Smart Protection counts some of the world’s biggest television and media publishers as customers including Warner Bros Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, and Movistar+ amongst others.

In addition, the firm protects soccer sports broadcasts, such as the Argentine Super League, as well as major brands, such as McAfee.

According to the International Trademark Association, worldwide losses due to online piracy were worth over $760bn in 2017 and are estimated exceed $1.2tn in 2022.

Smart Protection, together with its legal partners Padima, Clarke & Modet, PONS IP, Isern and Lerroux, as well as its technology partners, such as Telefónica Business Solutions, seeks to build a safer internet that keeps the assets of companies safe online.

Commenting on the investment, Jordi Vinas, Nauta Capital’s General Partner said: “Smart Protection has developed a world-class technical platform able to take down illegal content from the internet efficiently—often surpassing competitors that have raised significant amounts of money. From our first interaction with the team, we were impressed with their track-record and stellar team, and we look forward to working together on the mission to make Smart Protection the go-to Anti-Piracy platform of the internet.”

Javier Perea, added: “This partnership with Nauta will boost the development of our Artificial Intelligence technology, facilitate international expansion and also allow us to recruit the best talent in order to build an increasingly secure internet.”

About Smart Protection

Smart Protection is a technology company that protects intellectual and industrial property rights online. It combats Internet piracy and counterfeiting by combining its SaaS technology platform with a team of cybersecurity experts. Founded in 2015 and based in Madrid, it protects the IP content and brands owned by companies in 18 countries in Europe, US and LATAM. For more information, visit www.smartprotection.com or write to info@smartprotection.com.

About Nauta Capital

Nauta Capital is a pan-European Venture Capital firm investing in early-stage technology companies, with offices in London, Barcelona and Munich. Nauta’s main areas of investment interests include B2B software propositions, disruptive digital media companies, and enabling technologies for mobile and the Internet. Nauta has €365M million under management and invests in Western Europe. Nauta has led investments in more than 50 companies including Brandwatch, Marfeel, Nextail, Holded, MishiPay, Mercaux, ForceManager, GetApp, BeMyEye, Geoblink, Smarp, Talentry and ABA English. Visit www.nautacapital.com

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