Stealth Security reels in $8 million investment from Shasta Ventures to root out bad bots

We live in world where bots are operating all over the internet. Like Glinda in the Wizard of Oz asking Dorothy if she is a good witch or a bad witch, network admins simply want to determine if a bot is there to help or harm. It’s not always easy to know. That’s where Stealth Security comes in.

The 4-year old startup wants to help you defend against automated bot attacks. Today, the company announced an $8 million Series A investment, funded by Shasta Ventures. Today’s round brings the total raised to $12.5 million, according to Crunchbase.

The company’s founding team came from PayPal, Cisco and Symantec, where they saw a problem for companies eradicating bots with off-the-shelf products. They decided to start a company to solve it. “We have an extensive background in network security, and we applied this and machine learning to solve this problem of handling bots,” company co-founder and CEO Ameya Talwalkar told TechCrunch.

They are trying to stop a number of different kinds of attacks with their product such as credential stuffing where a hacker sends out bots with stolen credentials to a website and tries to find a way in by entering stolen usernames and passwords in quick succession until one works. But Talwalkar says customers are also seeing bots performing legitimate transactions and Stealth’s solution can distinguish the good bots from the bad ones.

CTO and co-founder Shreyans Mehta says they look at intent and the way the customer has configured the product, then count on machine learning to help determine which bots can come in and which ones to block. Companies could choose to block all bots or all except a certain type or any combination they wish.

The company currently has a half a dozen large enterprise customers. Talwalkar says they are targeting the high end of the market with this product and early customers include some of the largest financial services companies in the world. They currently have 15 employees, but are aiming to beef up sales and marketing along with some sales engineers and customer champion type of roles and begin to build on that in the next year, he said.