Darren Woodson played defense for the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl years of the 1990s, and now his technology startup CounterFind is helping businesses defend against counterfeit versions of their products being sold on the internet.
Some of the top names in the North Texas investment community are so impressed, they have invested a total of about $1 million in the Dallas-based company, Chief Operating Officer Mike DeCoursey said.
CounterFind has developed software that shuts down counterfeit merchandise online, and DeCoursey said the company would use the capital to “Grow and scale faster, especially our technical resources to continue to build features and integrations to our software.”
“CounterFind has had major traction since we started less than a year ago,” DeCoursey told Dallas Innovates “This investment will help us grow strategically and allow us to scale our software faster to support more features, marketplace integrations, and top-tier clients across sports, music, entertainment, and luxury retail brands.”
The new investments have come from Deep Space Ventures, Green Park and Golf, Blue Star Innovation Partners, as well as the Capital Factory in Austin, and a few other investors.
“Deep Space worked with Green Park and Golf, Blue Star and others to fund Darren Woodson’s startup CounterFind that is growing like crazy already,” Deep Space Ventures Managing Partner Stephen Hays said. “Capital Factory is joining us in the deal.”
“I love this business.”
It’s the latest in a busy past couple years of investing for Deep Space Ventures.
“This is our 9th Dallas investment in exactly 20 months since inception. Loving what we are seeing here,” Hays said.
“I love this business,” Hays said. “It has a highly talented team and founder who has significant domain expertise. The one thing that really caught my eye was a lot of the early customers became the first investors as well.
Hays said that, “when you look at the monthly growth on the top line, the significant pipeline of opportunities that are actively in negotiation, and the quality of the team, this deal was one we were able to move from pitch to close in less than two weeks.”
Founded in 2016, CounterFind said its turnkey technology combines image recognition with “industry expertise to recognize, report, and remove all ads marketing counterfeit merchandise on Facebook and all counterfeit listing on Amazon in real time.”
Hays said CounterFind began with a few customer such as the Dallas Cowboys, and California-based rock band Linkin Park.
He said that both of which were so happy with CounterFind’s results that Blue Star and a member of Linkin Park became investors.
COUNTERFIND FOUNDER WAS KEY PLAYER FOR COWBOYS
Woodson was a key All-Pro member of the Super Bowl-winning Cowboys teams of the 1990s, and now works as an NFL analysts for ESPN.
Woodson previously was involved in a startup in the apparel and licensing space, Hays said, which had significant competition from makers of counterfeit merchandise.
Several CounterFind team member worked on that effort.
Hays said that CounterFind’s success made the company an attractive investment.
“Just in the last few months, they have gone from single digits per month of revenue, to 10k in November, to over 30k in December,” Hays said. “Their sales pipeline is full of big name brands, celebrities, and others who desperately want to find a system to shut down people who rip off their brands, their images, and their likeness.”
“They have a product that every brand needs and that need will only grow as more commerce moves online.”
Hays said CounterFind’s technology gives it an advantage.
“There may be one or two folks who have tried to do something like this before, but nobody has done it this extensively, with solid technology, and provided not only identification, but execution of removal,” he said.
Hays said that in the long run, he sees CounterFind being able to find, identify, and remove anything that’s fake on the internet — including fake merchandise, fake profiles, and fake news, among other things.
“This business is partnering with Facebook, Amazon and other selling sites/marketplaces to help brands remove counterfeit materials from each of these sites,” Hays said.
Capital Factory founder and Executive Director Josh Baer said CounterFind fills a needed segment in e-commerce.
“Capital Factory has been the most active investor in Austin for a few years and we are excited to make CounterFind one of our first investments in Dallas,” Baer said. “They have a product that every brand needs and that need will only grow as more commerce moves online.”
Last year, CounterFind partnered with Epic Rights, a licensing and branding management firm, to protect brands in the music industry around the world.
Get on the list.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.