Distil Networks has acquired competitor ScrapeSentry in a stock and cash deal. While Distil has used automated, intelligent bot detection, ScrapeSentry has has built its business using human analysts to help customers understand bot behaviour.
Distil has not reveal an exact purchase price, however CEO Rami Essaid told Tech Crunch that "ScrapeSentry has a couple of million in revenue and deals tend to be in multiples of between 4x and 8x revenue".
Essaid told Tech Crunch that Distil Networks considered ScrapeSentry an acquisition target because larger customers said that they wanted more than simply identifying and blocking the bots. They wanted to dive deeper with a human expert, and this was taking time from his engineering and data science personnel. These larger customers appear to willing to pay a premium for a more face to face, hands on service.
According to Tech Crunch, ScrapeSentry, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden was founded a decade ago as part of Sentor, a European security firm. Sentor spun it out as a separate company about a year ago. The company has 20 customers.
ScrapeSentry CEO Martin Zetterlund said one of the things that attracted him to Distil was not just the team and the product, but their customer acquisition prowess.
Distil plans to use ScrapeSentry as its EU headquarters and let it continue to service its current clients while maintaining its existing product. Essaid promises the product will continue and that over the next year the two teams will work to incorporate the ScrapeSentry technology into the Distil Networks bot detection platform where he sees the two products working together nicely.
“At end of the day, there are some things you can’t automate, that you can’t do with machine learning and some of that is client interaction,” Essaid said. With ScrapeSentry their clients will be getting the best of both worlds.