City Startup Heads to Israel's Innovation Hub

Published: 05th September 2014 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th September 2014 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

Menahem-Kanafi

BANGALORE: Content theft is a major concern for online web portals. A Bangalore-based startup, which won a competition for its innovative product that helps keep such thieves at bay, is now headed to Tel Aviv, Israel’s startup capital.

Shield Square, founded a year ago by five engineers, will take part in a five-day, all-expense-paid trip to Israel during the Tel Aviv Innovation Festival between September 13-20.

Shield Square beat 70 startups that contested in the Start Tel Aviv India competition. Of these, 24 were from Bangalore. In Tel Aviv, Shield Square will be joined by startups from 17 other countries where they can meet investors and startup leaders. Pavan Thatha, the company’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, said it took them about nine months to come up with the product, also called Shield Square.

“Our solution stops bot programs, scrapers and non-human traffic (flow of data) towards a website with the intention of stealing content. This increases revenues of the online business as well as cut costs in terms of infrastructure and resources,” said the 30-year old alumnus of IIT, Bombay. The product caters to the business-to-business (B2B) sector and is being used by internet portals and e-commerce sites. Initially, Pavan and his team faced technological and human resource challenges. “The problem of online data theft that we are trying to stop is very complex and technologically-challenging. Apart from this, we had to go through a lot of iterations in hiring to find the best team,” Pavan told Express. The company plans to go global with its product in the next six months and is engaged in talks with venture capitalists.

Pavan and his brother Rakesh, who is the Chief Technology Officer, hail from Andhra Pradesh. The decision to set up shop in Bangalore is its “good technology ecosystem and access to the right set of advisers,” Pavan says. Israel is home to more than 5,000 startups, twice the size of the number in India, according to Israeli Consul General Menahem Kanafi.

JOINT Funding for SMEs

Bangalore: The governments of Karnataka and Israel have set up a funding programme for R&D activities undertaken jointly by Karnataka and Israeli companies. “The Karnataka-Israel Industrial R&D Program will fund 50% of the R&D costs to joint ventures, especially SMEs,” said Menahem Kanafi, Israeli Consul General.

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