Incopro, an online brand and IP protection business co-founded by media law firm Wiggin, has raised $21m (£16m) from a leading growth equity investor.
The company will use the investment from Highland Europe to accelerate the development of its technology products, expand its existing operations in China, and strengthen its presence in the US and Europe.
Incopro – founded in 2012 – is one of a series of ancillary businesses created by Wiggin, the Cheltenham and London-based alternative business structure.
Other joint ventures including Cirkus, a subscription video-on-demand service that offers viewers in the Nordic countries and Germany the ‘best of British’ TV series; Viewfinder, which provides executive producer advisory services to producers and film and television rights-holders; Overmorrow, a strategic advisory group focused exclusively on media, technology and brands; and Reviewed & Cleared, a law firm that provides pre-publication and pre-broadcast legal advice.
Incopro’s main product, Talisman, monitors IP infringements by scouring all corners of the internet in real time using machine-learning technology, pulling in data from platforms ranging from online marketplaces and social media through to websites and app stores.
Intelligent algorithms prioritise the key issues for clients and its automated network analysis identifies sophisticated, large-scale operators.
The removal of each identified infringement typically occurs within eight to 24 hours, with a 99% success rate. Customers include brands such as Reckitt Benckiser, Ted Baker, ghd, NBC Universal, Harley Davidson, Hunter, Tangle Teezer, and BBC Studios.
The company’s other products include Identify, an anti-piracy intelligence tool that tracks over 17,000 piracy websites across the globe, and Spectrum, which helps brands navigate the ad-buying world to ensure their adverts are not positioned beside undesirable content.
Simon Baggs, a Wiggin partner and the CEO of Incopro, said: “After Wiggin led on the ground-breaking Newzbin case, a judgment that paved the way for piracy websites to be blocked by ISPs, we felt there was a need for technology to do more to support clients in tackling the growing global issue of online IP infringement.
“We are fortunate to work for many household name brands and we’re excited about the opportunity this investment provides to further Incopro’s growth.”
Wiggin CEO John Banister added: “The establishment and growth of Incopro highlights the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit at the heart of Wiggin.
“The willingness to do things differently helps us offer the best service for clients; our sector focus allows us to identify ways to support and enhance our clients’ businesses.”
Highland Europe partner Sam Brooks said: “As experienced e-commerce and marketplace investors, we are intimately familiar with both the opportunity and the challenge that brands face from the global secular shift of retail and media consumption.
“We believe that the scale of the challenge for brand and IP owners is enormous and growing in complexity. We have been impressed by the deep domain expertise that [Incopro has] leveraged to build such a compelling platform.”