Bot Buster Distil Networks Catches $21 Million In Series C

August 8, 2016
Malicious bots are getting more sophisticated and bot blocking companies are raising more cash – the arms race is in full swing.

One such company, Distil Networks, announced $21 million in Series C funding on Tuesday as part of its bid to keep combating what CEO Rami Essaid called “a growing problem.”

The round, led by new investor Silicon Valley Bank and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Foundry Group and TechStars, brings Distil’s total funding to $65 million. This Series C follows Distil’s $21 million Series B in June 2015.

“The biggest, broadest issue we see is that bots are getting smarter and smarter,” said Essaid, who co-founded Distil in 2011 when bot operators ran less savvy operations.

“There was a time a few years ago when maybe less than a quarter of bots were able to execute JavaScript and mimic real people,” he said. “But we’ve found that around 88% of what’s out there today are what we refer to as ‘advanced persistent bots.’”

Advanced persistent bots are considered advanced because they can convincingly imitate human behavior, load JavaScript, spoof IP addresses, mess with cookies and perform browser automation like mouse manipulation. They’re persistent because they know how to evade detection by using peer-to-peer proxies or dynamic, rotating IP addresses that make it difficult to pin down their source.

These more cunning bot creations are evidence that traditional detection methods aren’t cutting it anymore, said Essaid. But, albeit somewhat ironically, increased scrutiny of the bot problem is part of what’s forcing bot operators to get smarter.

“The bad guys are evolving, so we have to invest more and more everyday to stay ahead of them,” he said.

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