Goldman Sachs Buys Anti-Bot Startup White Ops

Fraud and bot-detection specialists White Ops has been acquired by the Goldman Sachs merchant banking division in partnership with investment firms ClearSky Security and NightDragon.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

White Ops, known for its fraud-detection technology that protects businesses and online platforms from bots and automated attacks, had previously raised $31 million in venture capital funding.

Goldman Sachs was part of the earlier investments rounds alongside Clearsky and NightDragon.

Based in New York City, White Ops protects businesses and online e-commerce platforms from sophisticated bots that disrupt and hijack trillions of transactions globally.  

White Ops said it grew its customer base by 40 percent in 2020 and plans to ramp up spending on expanding to new markets.

The company’s Bot Mitigation Platform was used recently in tandem with the FBI, Google and Facebook to takedown 3ve, a massive botnet used to perpetuate click-fraud and other malicious attacks.

White Ops also recently uncovered ICEBUCKET, the largest and widest Connected TV (CTV) related fraud operation. The company said the the operation was highly successful until discovered, at its peak impersonating roughly 2 million users in more than 30 countries. It also counterfeited more than 300 different publishers, the researchers added.

The bots involved in the attacks were hidden “within the limited signal and transparency of server side ad insertion (SSAI) backed video ad impressions,” White Ops disclosed. 

White Ops discovered that “66% of programmatic CTV-related SSAI traffic and 15% of programmatic mobile-related SSAI traffic” was part of this operation in January 2020. 

Related: Sophisticated ‘3ve’ Ad Fraud Scheme Dismantled, Operators Indicted

Related: Google Took Down 2.3 Billion Bad Ads in 2018

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