Distil Networks Gets Human Touch With ScrapeSentry Acquisition

January 13, 2016

Distil Networks has always been about about automated, intelligent bot detection. Rival ScrapeSentry has gone at it from a different angle, using human analysts to help customers understand bot behavior. Today those two approaches came together when Distil acquired ScrapeSentry in a stock and cash deal.

While Distil CEO Rami Essaid wouldn’t reveal an exact purchase price, he danced around it by saying that ScrapeSentry has a couple of million in revenue and deals tend to be in multiples of between 4x and 8x revenue. He chose to leave it ambiguous, but doing the math that would fall somewhere between $8 million and $16 million.

Still, it’s not an insignificant purchase for a company that itself has raised around $44 million and Essaid admits he had to have a conversation with his board of directors before he pulled the trigger on the move. It turned out the board was apprehensive about using investment capital in this way.

In fact, it turned out to be a win on several levels.

He started looking at ScrapeSentry as an acquisition target because he was hearing from larger customers that they wanted more than simply identifying and blocking the bots. They wanted to dive deeper with a human expert, and this was taking time from his engineering and data science personnel.

“Enterprise customers want an analyst they can work with to add a human element to everything we do. It just made sense to combine forces,” he said.

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