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Bot detection platform Netacea secures £9m to fund US expansion

Image credit: Netacea

Manchester-based bot detection and mitigation startup Netacea has secured $12m (£9m) in Series A funding to fuel its expansion in the UK and US.

The financing comes from experienced professionals in the cybersecurity sector, including Crowdstrike’s Gerhard Watzinger, Malwarebytes Marcin Kleczynski, and former Capsule8 John Viega. 

It also received capital from long-term backer Mercia Asset Management.

Netacea was founded by Andy Still and Jeremy Gidlow in 2018 to detect and counter bot attacks that target mobile, website, and API applications. A bot attack uses infected internet-connected devices to overload and disrupt a target with web requests. 

Netacea uses machine learning to distinguish bot activity from humans and does not require code to be added to a customer’s web page. 

The company is looking to build on recent contract wins in the US, including image licensing firm Shutterstock. Half of Netacea’s sales team is now based in the US and the Manchester-headquartered company said it plans to grow its headcount across the Atlantic.

Part of the capital will help Netacea grow its technical team, specifically in development, data science, data analysis and threat research.

“We’re delighted to close this new round of funding—the support and business expertise from our investors has been invaluable in taking Netacea from a new product to an established and confident business,” said Jeremy Gidlow, CEO and co-founder, Netacea. “We have already won some big US customers, such as Shutterstock, and look forward to continuing our push into the US market.”

Some $261m has been invested into bot management software in the last year. Analysts at Forrester predict that bot management will overtake traditional web application firewall solutions by 2025.

Alex Eckelberry, NED, Malwarebytes, said: “A simplistic rules-based approach to bot management won’t cut it anymore. Security suites need to be supported by dedicated bot management solutions that can respond to new threats and take advantage of new threat intelligence. Netacea’s agentless approach is the right one.”