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Distil scores $21 million Series C to crush bad bots

ICE Graveyard 2/08/2016 Ron Miller

Distil Networks, a company that helps discover and eradicate bad bots, announced a $21 million Series C round today.

Funders include new investor Silicon Valley Bank along with previous participants Bessemer Venture Partners, Foundry Group and TechStars. It comes on the heels of another $21 million round in June, 2015 and brings the total raised to $65 million across all rounds.

With the funding environment growing ever uncertain, especially as we approach the November US presidential election, Distil CEO Rami Essaid admitted that his company didn’t necessarily need the money, but wanted to grab it while the getting was good.

Essaid was particularly pleased about having a strategic partner like Silicon Valley Bank in this deal as his company targets banks as a key customer demographic. He’s hoping the relationship will give them entree into other financial institutions, which tend to gravitate toward security products that have been vetted by other banks.

Investor David Cowan from Bessemer Venture Partners told TechCrunch after the June, 2015 funding round that going after bots is a crucial piece of any company’s security plan.  “Eliminating bots from network traffic provides a foundation of cyber security that eliminates entire classes of attack,” he said at the time.

Essaid indicated this round should be the last one his company takes as he aims to get off the private fundraising hamster wheel and run his company the old-fashioned way — by making a profit.

“We want to be in control of our fate. We’re done with fundraising. We’ve set aside some funds for a strategic acquisition and set an operating plan to get to profitability [by the end of next year],” he explained.

He sees that goal separating Distil from many startups out there who are investing in growth at the expense profitability. “That doesn’t make sense. We’re investing in growth [too], but seeing the light where we can [also] be profitable,” he said.

To prove his point, he says that the company has over 400 customers and has been growing quickly with 2.5 x revenue growth per year. It began the year with 100 employees and is looking to double that by year’s end. With 150 currently on the books, it’s on the way to achieving that goal.

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