EstVCA member Tera Ventures led the €500k investment round to Estonian cyber-startup BotGuard. The unique, cloud-based service, created by BotGuard revolutionizes the field of cybersecurity. BotGuard enables website owners to fight malicious software bots, eliminating the need for CAPTCHA’s distorted images to distinguish computers from humans. Photo: Nik Rosenberg (left) and Stanislav Ivanov
BotGuard can be integrated into any website, using a simple plug-in. It monitors the traffic coming to the page and forwards any suspicious requests to the BotGuard server. Its algorithms analyse the information received, filtering out malicious bots while allowing regular visitors to enter the site without unnecessary extra steps.
Until now, the main methods of distinguishing between machine and human users on websites have been the IP address-based firewall, which may block a visitor because they are using a VPN, and the CAPTCHA technology, which makes the user decipher a puzzle. Thanks to BotGuard, this is no longer necessary. Bot detection is done by default in the background, letting honest users enter the site with less hassle.
According to BotGuard co-founder, Nik Rosenberg, previously, only large companies have been able to afford effective anti-bot cybersecurity solutions, with monthly fees amounting to tens of thousands of euros, but now: “BotGuard’s cloud service could give SMEs the opportunity to protect their website from bad bots for only a few euros a month.”
Experts estimate that up to 50% of today’s web traffic comes from bots. Some of those are good – such as search engines and monitoring or payment systems. However, other bots are clearly malicious, copying website content, sending spam, trying to steal from users’ accounts, and carry out other unwanted activities. That leaves a further class of bots that a website owner would prefer to manage in a rule-based manner: this monitoring and management of bot-generated web visits is exactly what BotGuard offers.
“There are many different ways to misuse information using bots, which cause harm and inconvenience to the website owner but are not always illegal in nature. One example is that software bots can remove a competitor’s inventory from the stock or e-store circulation, without actual purchases; the goods are added to a shopping cart, but never confirmed or paid for, blocking other customers from buying the goods. This also applies to many reservation systems, such as airline tickets, hotel rooms, holiday packages, restaurants, etc. The manipulation of Google’s search engine is common. During a search, a bot can cause information on a competitor’s website to be copied to a number of fake websites, resulting in the loss of an important parameter for Google’s search engine – uniqueness”, Rosenberg explains.
BotGuard recently raised 0.5 million euros in a seed round led by Estonia’s leading venture capital company, Tera Ventures. The investments were mainly from well-known and established international business angels in the field of cybersecurity, as well as industry experts from Sweden, Israel, the USA, and elsewhere, including Per Björklund, Stefan Lindeberg, and Håkan Saltin.Stanislav Ivanov
, Founding Partner of Tera Ventures, acknowledges that BotGuard solves a globally important problem: “The Internet is playing an increasingly important role in our daily lives and in how societies function, which is why the issue of cybersecurity and information protection is undoubtedly one of the most important questions today. We were impressed by BotGuard’s unique, deep approach to the problem, the strong background and competence of the team, and their understanding of how the field works. I can’t think of any good reason why a website owner wouldn’t use BotGuard today.”
After testing the beta version for six months, BotGuard launched its first official version in July, which has already been integrated into thousands of websites around the world. “Our mission is to change the cybersecurity landscape and customary business culture by providing bot control and protection for all website owners, regardless of the size of their wallet. Whether we are talking about a company website, blog, or personal website, everyone should be able to protect their important information easily and affordably”, concluded Rosenberg.About BotGuard
BotGuard is a start-up company established in Estonia at the end of 2019. It was founded by Denis Prochko, who has twenty years of cybersecurity software development experience, and Nik Rosenberg, who has extensive IT and business experience. In addition to Estonia, the company’s team of nearly 20 members works in Germany, Israel, Georgia, Brazil, and elsewhere.
Nik Rosenbergnik@botguard.eeAbout Tera Ventures
Tera Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Tallinn, Estonia, and focused on exceptional founders from Estonia, Scandinavia, and CEE disrupting digital space globally. Tera builds presence and networks in the markets where our portfolio companies want to expand to – the UK, the US, and Asia. With a presence in Estonia, Finland, and California, Tera Ventures is supported by a global advisory network and provides portfolio companies with access to expertise and hands-on support necessary to grow from seed stage to successful exit.