SnapDragon Monitoring is an online brand protection service for businesses to find and resolve instances of intellectual property (IP) infringement online
With fake products contributing over 3.3% to world trade each year, according to the OECD, SnapDragon Monitoring’s Swoop platform searches for copies and counterfeits of products and brands, so that they can be removed from sale. Doing so protects revenues, reputations and, most importantly, the end consumer. Current clients include US baby brand 4moms, Australian b.box, AG Barr (producers of the IRN-BRU and Rubicon brands), UK-based Bondeye, and makeup brush cleaner StylPro from STYLEIDEAS.
Rachel Jones, founder and Head Dragon, explains: “Sometimes out of adversity comes opportunity, and SnapDragon is testament to that. We are helping brands to remove fakes from sale online: protecting revenues, reputations and, most importantly, the end consumer. What brands may not realise is that sales made from counterfeits fund organised crime, such as trafficking – and nobody wants a fake of their brand funding illicit trade. In identifying fakes online, and removing them from sale on the pertinent platforms, we prevent their visibility and subsequent purchase, export, import and distribution.”
SnapDragon has raised £1.2 million in its latest funding round from existing investors Mercia and Scottish Enterprise, joined by newcomer ACF Investors in its first investment in a Scottish company. This brings the total raised by SnapDragon to just over £3 million.
Launched in 2011, ACF Investors (formerly the Angel CoFund) is a VC fund that works alongside sector smart business angels to invest in high potential SMEs across the UK. To date ACF Investors has supported close to 100 companies providing more than £50 million in direct investment alongside more than £300 million from business angels and other investors.
Tim Mills, managing partner at ACF Investors, said “ACF Investors is proud to add SnapDragon Monitoring to our portfolio. ACF looks to invest alongside sector smart angels and we have long been engaged with opportunities in the thriving Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem, and it’s been great to see Edinburgh and Glasgow both showing significant VC growth last year despite the challenges of the pandemic. The region has a great combination of experienced sector smart angel investors alongside ground breaking technology and entrepreneurship.”
The latest funding will be used by SnapDragon to develop the technology and AI/ML to further extend capabilities, to scale the infrastructure, and to continue to build the team to help an expanding base of global clients fight fakes and online threats.
SnapDragon Monitoring has also strengthened its board, with the hiring of Geraldine Kelly as non-executive chair. Geraldine has previously held senior executive positions with Frame Technology (Adobe); Visio (Microsoft), Gartner Learning Group and Thomson Learning. Geraldine is a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors and an experienced board chair.
Chartered accountant Angela Brown, most recently with Symphonic Software as it scaled to a USD$31m exit in 2020, has also been appointed as finance director.
“We are delighted to welcome Geraldine and Angela to SnapDragon,” said Rachel Jones. “We are a female-led business, bucking the trend in terms of raising investment and being in the tech space – and delivering outstanding results to protect brands around the world. We are hugely proud of everything the team has achieved to date, not least preventing over £100m of fake goods being sold in the last 12 months, and look forward to future growth and success.”
Company: SnapDragon Monitoring
Incorporated: November 2014
Deal date: 6 May 2021
Amount: £1.2 million
Investors: Mercia, SE, ACF Investors