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AI to protect websites from threat: Estonian cybersecurity startup BotGuard OÜ lands €12M

BotGuard OÜ team
Picture credits: BotGuard OÜ

It is estimated that nearly half of all internet traffic comes from bots, exposing website owners to threats such as data theft, scams, and DDoS attacks. Good bots that benefit a company by crawling or indexing a website to improve search engine ranking exist everywhere – payment systems, CMS, or social tools. However, bad bot traffic can be harmful to operations and drive up costs. 

Estonia-headquartered BotGuard OÜ, a cybersecurity software startup enables businesses to manage good, bad, and neutral web traffic. Now, the company has secured €12 million in Series A funding. The round was led by MMC Ventures, which recently backed Modo Energy and Virtue Health. Existing investors Tera Ventures and Expeditions Fund also participated in the round, alongside prominent angel investors, including Stefan Lindeberg. 

This latest investment will enable BotGuard OÜ to further develop its technology, recruit tech development talent, and expand its sales and marketing teams as it continues to scale globally.

Idea behind BotGuard OÜ

BotGuard OÜ was founded in Estonia in 2019 by engineers Nik Rozenberg and Denis Prochko. Rozenberg, an Israeli serial entrepreneur who also co-founded Plainkit joined Prochko, a pharmaceutical chemist by profession. The idea was born out of the co-founders’ experience leading and growing startups and battling malicious bots and hackers on their websites. 

Operating globally with clients and partners in over 30 countries, the company’s executive team includes industry veterans such as CRO Bertil Brendeke (ex-CloudFest, Acronis), COO Martin Pawliczek (ex-GoDaddy, Host Europe Group), CPO Jason Haworth (ex-AWS, F5 Networks), CMO Renee Stromberg (ex-Cisco, F5 Networks) and CDS Cagri Ozcinar (ex-Samsung, Sky Group).

AI-led automation for websites

The company has developed an easy-to-implement cloud-based solution, partnering with hosting providers to help website owners filter their web traffic, lower website management costs, defend their infrastructure and protect their assets. BotGuard OÜ’s proprietary cloud-based solution filters good, bad, and neutral web traffic for website owners, enhancing security and bringing down web management costs.

Using AI and other technologies to automate the implementation process and reduce costs, the startup provides effective, manageable, platform-agnostic web security for organisations of all sizes. 

Its AI-led automation gives website owners fine-grained control over their web traffic. It is offered to website owners as an add-on through web hosting providers, with economies of scale making the solution affordable for all businesses, including SMEs.

Nik Rozenberg, CEO and co-founder at Botguard OÜ, said: “Malicious bot traffic can be extremely harmful for businesses – particularly for the likes of e-commerce retailers that depend on their website to operate – and organisations require tools that keep pace with the rapidly-evolving threat landscape. Even neutral web traffic – like some crawler bots – can drive up management costs. We are democratising web security by offering web hosting providers a flexible, easy-to-use, and cost-effective solution that still offers the highest level of control over web traffic. We are excited for this next stage of our growth journey as we continue to innovate and expand into new territories.” 

Mina Samaan, Partner at MMC Ventures, said: “Born from the pain of living through this problem, Nik and Denis have built an impressive business, and the incredible traction BotGuard OÜ has seen to date demonstrates how well they understand this problem. As generative AI makes the malicious threats businesses are facing even more sophisticated, the BotGuard team has its own AI-powered solution – effectively fighting AI with AI. We share their vision in growing together to build a secure internet that is accessible to everyone.”

Stanislav Ivanov, Founding Partner at Tera Ventures, said: “There’s an addressable market of over 300 million websites that require the level of protection Botguard OÜ can provide. By partnering with web hosting providers, the business has achieved an economy of scale to SME websites. The company is putting hosting providers in the driver’s seat, providing them with a straightforward and robust solution which protects against myriad web threats and offers complete control over web traffic. We look forward to offering the team our continued support as they scale the business globally.”

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