Estonian site security startup BotGuard closes seed round with €5 million valuation


Estonian cloud security startup BotGuard has finally closed its seed funding round and hit a company valuation of €5 million, more than double its value at the first close back in September — all without a pitch deck.

Funny thing is we never used one,” said CEO Nik Rozenberg when asked. “Our work is very technical so it was more conversations about that than a normal startup deck.”

BotGuard offers a service to protect businesses from “hackers, spammers, content thieves, and competitors” by monitoring incoming traffic to the website. The engine analyses visitors’ behavior, forms ‘digital fingerprints’ for each one and stores the results in a database.

At this point the ever-expanding database contains millions of browser fingerprints, allowing the company to identify bots and hacker attacks. The system selectively blocks bad bots while granting unrestricted access to human users, search engines and affiliate bots.

Plans for growth revolve around integrations with website hosting providers. The Tallinn startup estimates that if there are from 200 to 300 million actively updated websites today, at least half of them are hosted by only about 100 large providers. BotGuard’s goal for 2021 is to integrate with 15 percent of them.

Over the past few months the team has been working on integrations with major hosting companies in the EU, Australia and Latin America, the first batch of which will officially launch this month. The startup says these deals will boost its customer base above 5 million domains.

In the final close of the seed round, lead investor Tera Ventures contributed again, while FirlejKastory, a family office out of Poland, invested for the first time. After all is said and done, the founders and team retain over 75 percent of the company.

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