Red Points, a Barcelona-based startup that helps brands prevent counterfeiting, piracy and digital impersonators, has collected $20 million in funds.
Red Points slots into the burgeoning revenue recovery space - IT software programs with automated tools for spotting easy chances for businesses to turn around more cash. Say you're a top-end jewellery brand that's taken more sales online since the COVID pandemic - the idea is that Red Points knows when someone else is trying to sell a counterfeit, meaning the legitimate vendor can open up a dispute to protect their IP.
Revenue recovery is an offshoot of customer intelligence - other forms include predictive analytics on retail floors, ensuring product lines are empty less often, customers spend less time standing around idle and giving e-commerce portals tools to create an end-to-end, personalised shopping experience.
Red Points has amassed north of €76 million since its first fundraise in 2014. On this occasion, European VC IRIS led the round as a new investor, alongside existing investors Summit Partners and Eight Roads, a strategic arm of Fidelity International.
Armed with another $20 million to spend, Red Points wants to double down on its go-to-market plans, while also finding the resources to tighten up product features to combat more online fraud and "brand abuse".
Certainly there's been some customer successes in its domestic market - Real Madrid (the football and sporting club) is using Red Points tech, in theory slinging a spanner in the works of fake football kit magnates.
Laura Urquizu, CEO and president of Red Points, quoted figures from the OECD which peg the annual cost of counterfeiting at above €450 billion. "This is just one of many rising threats that brands and consumers face in digital," Urquizu said in a press release emailed to Tech.eu, "Red Points enables companies to bring back revenue and brand equity lost to fraud, and this new funding will help use accelerate the adoption of the technologies that make it happen effectively."
IRIS investment partner Itziar Estevez Latasa, who will join the Red Points board, giving it a 50-50 gender split, argued there'd been an "explosion" of brand fraud. Moreover fraud teams are increasingly hijacking digital platforms, social media, online services integral to 21st century branding.
Latasa said: "Companies are struggling to catch up with the explosion of brand fraud and emerging forms of threats. With its unique automated and highly scalable platform, Red Points is leading the digitalisation of the anti-fraud space.
"We've been impressed with Red Points' ability to address customers' needs across industries by focusing on the most harmful infringements and untapping hidden fraudulent networks. We are very proud to be art of this journey."