Security startup INCOPRO has raised $21m from Highland Europe, to develop its anti-piracy and counterfeit tech.

As a result, Sam Brooks and Gajan Rajanathan from Highland Europe will also join the INCOPRO board.

The London-based company will use the latest investment to develop its technology, which aims to protect online brands, and expand existing operations in China, as well as strengthen its presence in the United States and Europe. It also aims to grow its leadership team.

INCOPRO was founded in 2012 by Simon Baggs, CEO and IP protection lawyer, and Bret Boivin, CTO and system architect, who first came up with the idea in a coffee shop. The aim is to help companies who are facing the threat of IP infringement.

Simon Baggs explained the crux of the company: “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.

“Talisman uses cutting-edge technology to identify and enforce not just individual infringements, but whole networks of illicit behaviour. This unique, intelligence-driven enforcement strategy has a lasting impact on counterfeiters, benefitting clients’ bottom lines. It is crucial that an online brand protection strategy truly addresses the root of the problem, rather than just playing a game of ‘whack-a-mole’ – and that is how we have built Talisman,” he added.

TALISMAN uses machine learning collates a mass of data from major platforms, ranging from online marketplaces and social media through to websites and app stores, on brand infringement and automatically identifies and prioritises IP violations. It then connects customers to commercial scale counterfeiters.

The removal of each identified infringement typically takes between eight and 24 hours, with a 99 per cent success rate.

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,” he added.

INCOPRO’s customers include Reckitt Benckiser, Ted Baker, ghd, NBC Universal, Harley Davidson, Hunter, Tangle Teezer, and BBC Studios.

The online brand protection market is now worth over $1bn, according to the company.