There Really is Something about Distil.it…

Forbes contributing writer Tim Conneally reviews Distil following its $1.8M Seed round from investors ff Venture Capital, IDEA Fund Partners, Correlation Ventures, Cloud Power Fund, TechStars and others. This is a problem known all to well to authors Conneally explaines, “I’ve published content that was copied (byline and all) and reprinted without permission on sites I had no control over.” Distil’s cloud-based platform protects against web scraping bots by automatically identifying the viewer as human or a bot.

Read the article on Forbes.

IDEA Fund Partners Announces Follow-on Investment in Distil.it

Distil.it Closes $1.8 Million Series-Seed Investment led by ff Venture Capital

Arlington, VA., January 24, 2013 – Distil.it, the first cloud-based, intelligent gatekeeper for website content protection, announced today that it has secured $1.8 million in series-seed funding. The round was led by ff Venture Capital with participation from Correlation Ventures, Idea Fund Partners, CIT, Piedmont RIA, Cloud Power Fund, and TechStars.

Distil offers a premium, cloud-based enterprise service that protects website content from scraping and malicious bots while accelerating website performance using their global network. Since completing the inaugural TechStars Cloud class in early 2012, the company has rapidly grown its customer base across some of tech’s most lucrative online verticals including social media, e-commerce, travel, digital publishing, and directories.

“Companies don’t realize that their websites are being attacked everyday. That they are losing money and sensitive information to web scraping and bot attacks.” says John Frankel, Partner at ff VC, who joins Distil’s board. “Disti.it has proven with top companies, such as cult of mac, that their product can effectively block these attacks, stop the loss of data and enhance revenues.”

Distil’s Content Protection Network (CPN) protects a business’ web visitors, search engine ranking, and consequently website revenue by making real-time decisions on the validity of each website connection through patent-pending algorithms.  Distil’s platform seamlessly distinguishes search engines and human visitors from malicious bots and harmful traffic with no false positives.  In addition, the Distil service accelerates content, improving page load times and reducing server load.

“Rami Essaid is a dynamic CEO. He is a true visionary with demonstrated business, as well as technical skills,” says Lister Delgado, Director of Distil and Managing Partner at IDEA Fund Partners.

A content protection visionary, Distil Co-Founder and CEO Rami Essaid has been recognized as a ’30 under 30’ and one of Fourteen Entrepreneurs to Watch by Under30CEO.”We saw a fundamental flaw in how data was shared on the internet, it was the wild west with bots harvesting and stealing anything they wanted to,” says Rami Essaid. “Our vision is to allow website owners to regain control of their data and stop bots from menacing the web.”

Research conducted by Distil indicates that the total web scraping defense market exceeds 1.8 Billion dollars annually. Gartner Research confirms the tremendous opportunity ahead for Distil and their Content Protection Network, asserting, “demand for Web fraud detection software and services are at an all-time high.” Gartner Research estimates that the web-fraud market grew by 35% between 2010 and 2011.

For more information please visit distil.it

About Distil.it
Distil is the leading Content Protection Network (CPN) and the first cloud-based, intelligent gatekeeper for website content. Distil’s CPN makes real-time decisions and seamlessly distinguishes human visitors from malicious bots. Distil mitigates against duplicate content, improves SEO power, and accelerates the end-user experience – all while reducing server load and infrastructure demand.

Distil’s mission is to provide enterprise class protection safeguarding commercial and individual content producers. Protect your content, your brand, and your revenue without impacting your end-user experience.

For more information, visit distil.it and follow us on Twitter @distil.

About ff Venture Capital
ff Venture Capital (ffvc.com) is an institutional venture capital investor in seed-stage companies. Since 1999, our Partners have made over 160 investments in over 55 companies. Our exits include Cornerstone OnDemand (IPO, CSOD) and Quigo Technologies (sold to AOL for a reported $340m). ffVC has a dozen employees based in New York and New Jersey and extensive resources dedicated to portfolio acceleration, including strategy consulting, an experienced mentor network, recruiting assistance, a pool of preferred service providers, an executive portfolio community, and in-house accounting services.

About IDEA Fund Partners
Headquartered in Durham, NC, IDEA Fund Partners provides seed and early stage equity funding along with company building expertise to IT, software, materials technologies and medical device companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Currently investing out of its first fund, IDEA Fund Partners has invested in fourteen companies since 2007. Learn more at www.ideafundpartners.com.

IDEA Fund Partners Announces Investment in GradSave

IDEA FUND PARTNERS ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT IN GRADSAVE
Company Dedicated to Helping Bring College Savings Information, Resources and Tools to Everyone

DURHAM, NC − January 8, 2013 − IDEA Fund Partners, a venture capital firm providing seed and early stage financing to technology companies throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, is pleased to announce its recent investment in GradSave, an innovative online college savings registry. GradSave makes it easy for friends and family to give the gift of education. Investing alongside angel investors, the funds will enable the company to accelerate product development and expand marketing efforts. In conjunction with the investment, the Company will also acquire SavingforCollege.com, the leading online resource for individuals and advisors to better understand how to meet the challenge of paying higher education costs. SavingforCollege.com will continue to provide consumers with useful, independent and objective information about 529 plans and other ways to save and pay for college as an affiliate of GradSave. Together the companies will be able to leverage the rapid growth of GradSave with SavingforCollege.com’s wealth of resources, helping families make informed decisions to begin and grow their higher education savings.

Based in Miami, Florida, GradSave is a safe, secure and easy to use college savings registry that has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Inc., Fox Business and others. The Company helps parents, family and friends save for a child’s future education by providing a platform to track and receive contributions that can be linked to any 529 college savings account. Born from the idea that saving for college was a better gift than receiving more “stuff,” GradSave is working to reduce the burden of rising college costs by allowing students to graduate with little or no debt. Over 4,000 families have already signed up for GradSave to help them save for their children’s future education.

“We fundamentally believe that it takes a village to raise a child, even from a financial perspective,” said GradSave CEO, Marcos Cordero. “GradSave makes it easy for parents, family and friends to give the lasting gift of an education in lieu of traditional gifts at events such as birthdays, Christmas or other holidays. No more trinkets please!”

GradSave makes saving for college easy. In minutes, parents can sign up for a GradSave account and create their child’s profile. The Company makes it easy to share your profile by connecting seamlessly with Facebook and Twitter, in addition to spreading the word via email and page links. Parents can set goals and track progress as friends and family easily contribute via the profile page. At any time you can link your GradSave account to a 529 college savings plan to redeem your funds. Before you transfer these funds, the money is safely stored in a FDIC insured bank account.

“We are delighted to welcome GradSave to the IDEA Fund Partners family as our first Florida-based investment and are eager to work closely with their team to help build a great company,” said Lister Delgado, Managing Partner at IDEA Fund Partners. “GradSave’s platform for saving for college is very impactful and easy to use. They are tackling the serious issue of rising higher education costs. Marcos is an impressive and driven CEO who is deeply committed to his vision and business and an entrepreneur we are excited to support. GradSave is a great example of the talent and innovation that has attracted us to Florida.”

IDEA Fund Partners believes that Florida is an environment that aligns well with its investment strategy. The availability of ideas, innovation and talent for new company formation in Florida exceeds the availability of early stage capital, presenting a unique opportunity for investment. The Fund is active in the state, most notably with the Florida IDEA grants program, and maintains an office in Orlando with one Venture Partner and two Operating Partners based in central Florida.

About IDEA Fund Partners
Headquartered in Durham, NC, IDEA Fund Partners provides seed and early stage equity funding along with company building expertise to IT, software, materials technologies and medical device companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Currently investing out of its first fund, IDEA Fund Partners has invested in thirteen companies since 2007. Learn more at www.ideafundpartners.com.

About GradSave
GradSave is an online college savings registry that helps parents, family and friends save for a child’s future education. GradSave makes it easy for parents, family and friends to give the lasting gift of an education in lieu of traditional gifts at events such as birthdays, holidays and special occasions. With college costs on the rise and many graduates burdened with enormous debt after graduation, GradSave offers a new way to help students graduate with little or no debt. For more information, visit www.gradsave.com.

Advanced Materials to Lead Power Electronic Tech in 2013

PowerPulse.Net forecasts advances in semiconductor materials will challenge silicon-carbide (SiC) and gallium-nitride (GaN). The article identifies two Durham-based companies, Sarda Technologies and HexaTech. Sarda Technologies is focused on reducing power loss in <20V DC-DC voltage converters. The technology results from the use of GaAs to enable a radical reimaging of the basic field effect transistor geometry and enables ultra-low power loss and very-high switching frequencies. HexaTech is is targeting very-high voltage power conversion for smartgrid applications. Using very low-dislocation-density single-crystal AIN subtrates, HexaTech is offers a significant reduction in size, weight and cooling.

Read the full article on PowerPulse.Net.