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Bot detection startup Distil Networks announced today that it has raised a $10 million Series A. A source with knowledge of the deal says the round valued Distil at about $30 million.
The company declined to comment on the valuation, but co-founder and CEO Rami Essaid was willing to discuss some of the other details. For one thing, he said that Foundry Group “shot us down” twice over the past couple of years before Distil’s growth convinced the firm to lead the Series A (along with Techstars’ Bullet Time Ventures).
Essaid also said that he’d set out initially to raise $7 million, and even when raising a $10 million round had to turn some VCs down. So why go with Foundry? Was it all those previous “no”s? Actually, according to Essaid, it was because the firm shared Distil’s vision.
“Some of the VCs that we talked to were focused on how we make more money doing the same thing,” he said. “Foundry looked beyond what we’re doing today and asked, how do we become a bigger, more holistic security company?”
Right now, that means building a comprehensive solution to battle online bots, rather than focusing on the individual problems that bots can cause. For example, Essaid said that when Distil works with an e-commerce company, it tackles click fraud (which would mean the company is paying for useless ad clicks), price scraping, and more: “What we try to do is bring everybody to the table. That makes the sales process harder, but it also makes [the product] stickier.”