Distil Networks

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Distil Networks
Privately held
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia, United States
Key people
Rami Essaid (CEO)
Engin Akyol (CTO)
Andrew Stein (Chief Scientist)
Services Content protection network
Website distilnetworks.com

Distil Networks is an Internet company based in Arlington, Virginia, that provides Web content protection systems. Their products and services try to avoid web scraping or data scraping, wherein automated bots are deployed to gather content from a website and use it for competitive or malicious purposes.[1]


Distil.it was founded in April 2011 by Rami Essaid, Engin Akyol and Andrew Stein, claiming to be the first website content protection network of its kind.[1] The company name was later changed to Distil Networks. Key investors include ff Venture Capital, CIT GAP Funds, IDEA Fund Partners, Techstars, Militello Capital and Foundry Group.[2][3][4][5] The company has also built capital through seed money rounds, including individual investors contributing more than $200,000 in one week via AngelList. On May 28, 2014, the company secured $10 million in Series A funding to help fund the growth and expansion of the company.[6]

Initially the Distil Networks client base consisted largely of digital publishers concerned about their news content being stolen and re-used on competitors’ websites. Distil Networks soon branched into protecting other types of websites.[7]

Content protection network[edit]

The company’s main product focuses on prevention of or protection against web scraping Internet bots, and one of the services provided is a Content Protection Network (CPN). It combines proprietary bot-blocking software with site performance improvement, including DNS-based GeoIP routing so visitors to the client website are routed to the geographically-closest Distil Networks server. Rather than relying on plugins or hardware, Distil Networks blocks bots in real time.[8] Working as a content protection network, Distil Networks begins learning user behavior patterns that are unique to each website. The service can discern human visitors from malicious bots without requiring a CAPTCHA test, and it creates a bot signature that can be shared to protect other customers.[9] Data theft is often the result of malicious bots mining sites for information.[10][11]


In December 2012, Rami Essaid was named one of the 14 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in Washington, D.C. by Under30CEO.[12]

In June 2014, Distil Networks was listed on the Online Trust Alliance's 2014 Online Trust Honor Roll as an Industry Leader.[13]

In August 2014, Lead411 named Distil Networks on of the "Hottest Companies in DC." [14]


  1. ^ a b Reuven Cohen (23 October 2012). "Getting Plugged Into the Silicon Valley Startup Scene". Forbes. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Tim Conneally (28 January 2013). "There Really Is Something About Distil.it...". Forbes. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Tim Conneally. "CIT’s GAP Venture Fund". CIT.org. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "IDEA Fund Partners - Distil Networks". IDEA Fund Partners. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140528005154/en/Distil-Networks-Secures-10-Million-Series-Funding#.U7FnkI1dVUM
  6. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/28/distil-networks-series-a/
  7. ^ Alex Wilhelm (15 March 2013). "AngelList’s ‘Invest’ service helped Distil Networks add $200k to its $1.8m round in less than a week". The Next Web. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Zach Davis (9 September 2012). "Prevent bots from scraping your site's content with DC-based Distil". Tech Cocktail. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Rip Empson (24 January 2013). "TechStars Grad Distil.It Lands $1.8M To Help Your Business Put A Stop To Bots, Web Scraping & Content Theft". TechCrunch. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Threat Activity Trends: Bot-infected Computers". Symantec. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Laurianne McLaughlin (June 2004). "Bot Software Spreads, Causes New Worries" (PDF). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Under30CEO Awards: 14 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in Washington, D.C.". Under30CEO. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Industry Leaders Embrace 2014 Honor Roll". Online Trust Alliance. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "2014 Hottest DC Companies". Lead411. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 

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