Telefónica, via Telefónica Tech Ventures, its new vehicle for investment in cybersecurity startups, has made an investment in Smart Protection, a Spanish startup that protects brands against counterfeiting on the internet.
To do so, it has a platform that automatically detects and eliminates counterfeit products and unauthorised uses on the Internet. Founded in 2015, the company has customers in more than 25 countries and obtains more than 75% of its revenues outside Spain.
The problems of piracy and counterfeiting on the internet have grown in exponential terms in recent years, caused by the increased presence of brands online and the use of e-commerce for selling all kinds of goods. It is estimated that piracy and counterfeiting will exceed 991 billion dollars by 2022.
The investment in Smart Protection represents a further step in the company’s close cooperation with Telefónica. Firstly, by means of its participation in Wayra, the company’s global innovation hub, which took part in the first financing round in 2017, and now, by means of the investment made by Telefónica Tech Ventures as part of a new qualified round of investment totalling 10 million euros which has attracted other Spanish and international investors. Smart Protection has already obtained more than 20 million euros in funding with this round, positioning it among the top five cybersecurity startups in Spain in terms of their ability to raise money.
“Smart Protection stands at the forefront of online brand protection. This is an excellent example of how Telefónica Tech can boost the cybersecurity entrepreneurial ecosystem as an investor, customer and strategic partner, enabling us to drive business and ensure it reaches our customers in a distinctive way”, declared Pedro Pablo Pérez, CEO of ElevenPaths, Telefónica Tech’s cybersecurity company, which Smart Protection already partners in several projects for the Movistar+ television platform.
“Cybersecurity is a booming sector within which Telefónica Tech plays a very important role. This new investment once again highlights our commitment to technologies and solutions that strengthen our core and strategic business while providing an opportunity for a company like Smart Protection to scale and drive its business through our worldwide customer network”, stated Guenia Gawendo, director of Telefónica Tech Ventures.
Javier Perea, Smart Protection’s CEO, pointed out: “The trust of a leader in the cybersecurity market such as Telefónica has provided a great boost for our technological platform. This partnership with Telefónica and ElevenPaths will constitute an accelerator in our strategy of scalability and international growth”
This investment in Smart Protection comes after Telefónica’s recent investment in Nozomi Networks, the company that specializes in security and industrial control systems. Telefónica’s close relationship with cybersecurity startups has also been reflected in Telefónica Tech’s recent acquisitions of Govertis, the company specializing in cybersecurity consultancy, and iHackLabs, which specializes in training and educating professionals in cybersecurity.