Company’s team and technology uniquely poised to address $19 billion market
ATLANTA — DEVCON, a cybersecurity software company dedicated to defeating ad fraud and preserving independent journalism, announced it has closed a seed round of funding led by Las Olas VC with participation from individual investors including Paul Judge, cofounder of TechSquare Labs and executive chairman of Pindrop, and Adam Ghetti, founder of Ionic Security. The round comes as DEVCON attacks the growing epidemic of global ad fraud and theft, a problem estimated to account for $19 billion in losses this year, ballooning to $44 billion by 2022.
“As cyber criminals realize they can use the ad infrastructure to launch all sorts of attacks, this is no longer an ad fraud problem, it’s become a backdoor problem,” said Maggie Louie, DEVCON co-founder and CEO.
The rise in cyber crime has proven difficult to tackle as ads are now routinely exploited, hijacked, spoofed, and manipulated to steal money from the publishing, advertising, and ad-tech industries. Online ad fraud was previously believed to only impact respective industry revenues, but recent attacks show that consumers are at high risk as well, and the crimes are becoming even more complex.
“As cyber criminals realize they can use the ad infrastructure to launch all sorts of attacks, this is no longer an ad fraud problem, it’s become a backdoor problem,” said Maggie Louie, DEVCON co-founder and CEO. “Everyone who looks at websites or apps with ads, regardless of device (smartphone, tablet, desktop etc.), is vulnerable to a whole host of cyber threats that are using the ad highway as a backroad for bad code. DEVCON is on a mission to eliminate these threats, and we are grateful to our investors supporting us in this important work.”
Businesses, specifically ones that require or enable microtransactions though technology, require software like DEVCON’s to protect against direct exploit as well as to ensure their technology isn’t inadvertently creating a new channel for money laundering and cyber crime. While software providers have sought to combat ad fraud for years, DEVCON is the first company to reliably trace fraudulent activity back to its source. Its software, created by the industry’s top white hat hackers, information security experts, adtech experts, and digital media executives, successfully follows the money and treats ad fraud as criminal activity. In fact, DEVCON’s technology has been so efficient that it helped law enforcement facilitate the first-ever felony conviction for online ad theft and money laundering, resulting in a four-year prison sentence.
In a separate release today, DEVCON announced that Former FBI Cyber Squad Supervisor Michael F. D. Anaya has joined its exceptional team. Anaya will serve as the Head of Global Cyber Investigations and Government Relations, leading a team focused on investigating online ad theft on the global scale and facilitating interactions with the U.S. government and its investigative units. The addition of Anaya demonstrates the commitment of the DEVCON team to build a powerful platform that can track cyber criminals in a manner other software cannot match.
“Maggie and the DEVCON team have built a unique solution to the global problem of complex and distributed computer networks being used to orchestrate a range of financial crimes, including ad fraud and money laundering,” said Dean Hatton, founding partner at Las Olas VC. “The market reception from publishers and law enforcement to the DEVCON platform is incredibly promising, and we at Las Olas VC are thrilled to lead this investment.”
“In my two decades of fighting cybercrime, hackers have continued to find new ways to reach innocent users. Today, malware in advertising networks is a massive vulnerability for the entire Web,” added Dr. Paul Judge, cofounder of TechSquare Labs and executive chairman of Pindrop. “I’m excited about the approach that DEVCON is taking to detect and block ad-based malware and fraud to make the Internet safer.”
To learn more, please visit www.devcondetect.com.
Founded in 2017, DEVCON is a cybersecurity software company whose proprietary technology empowers publishers to maximize their advertising revenues by identifying and eliminating fraudulent ads within their networks. The product of some of the most influential newsrooms in America, the DEVCON team is a veteran mix of media executives, white hat hackers and IT pros firmly dedicated to the longevity and prosperity of journalism. DEVCON joined the 2018 Engage cohort and became an ATDC signature company. It is also a Techstars Barclay London 2018 alumni. DEVCON’s FREEDOM for MEDIA program offers publishers a free tool to identify ad fraud as it happens in their networks, while the company’s premium platform enables tracking and blocking of Bad Ads. Beyond digital revenue protection for publishers, DEVCON brings powerful anti-money laundering software to the FinTech sector, having aided law enforcement in facilitating the first-ever criminal conviction for online ad theft. DEVCON is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with additional offices in Memphis, Tennessee.