Two Shields Investments Plc (LON:TSI) Executive Chairman Andrew Lawley and Brandshield Chief Executive Officer Yoav Keren caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss TSI’s investment in Brandshield and what this means for both companies.
Q1: Andrew, can you give us a little bit of an overview of the investment that you have in Brandshield?
A1: As we spoke about before, the portfolio of TSI really breaks down into two parts.
There’s the legacy mining assets where we are at a stage of strategy to realise over time as and when liquidity events arise and/or to partner with other people to develop out some of the assets where appropriate so that’s one part of the portfolio.
The other part of the portfolio is really in growth-orientated tech-enabled businesses and we have two very exciting investments in WeShop where we put an RNS out very recently updating people on a lot of progress being made in that business. Then, of course, Brandshield where we have recently announced further investment into the business and an option to follow on and invest further capital in the future.
I think from the TSI perspective and the future of that business, and as a business that is looking to back, Brandshield represents exactly the sweet spot for the business. I think it ticks a lot of boxes for really good quality tech-driven businesses that can create value quite quickly with the investment from TSI.I think looking at Brandshield in particular, it operates in really fast-growing substantial global markets, that is the online brand protection, anti-fraud and phishing which is something that is increasingly important to a number of important brand owners globally.
The technology stack which has been developed over a number of years by Brandshield is proprietary and extremely effective, so it’s quite differentiated in the market and produces excellent results for its customers. As a result, we see really good, solid, proven customer demand from a large number of some of the world’s largest companies, and leading brands so the end-to-end service from identification of risk through to take down of that risk is absolutely exemplary from Brandshield.
I think as well, turning to a value perspective, we see valuation growing quite quickly in this business as it turns into scaling so it’s very much proven, very much at-scale and we see, very much, an opportunity for the business to then win customers going forward with the backing from TSI much faster.
What we really like about the business is the quality of earnings, it contracts with its customers with a SaaS style of recurring revenue which provides a very solid and reliable underpin for the business going forward. We think the team is great, you’ll hear from Yoav in a minute who will tell you a lot more about the business and some of the opportunities it’s facing.
Philosophically, from a TSI perspective, we’re extremely excited about the prospects of the business and we think it’s really well positioned to enter a material scale-up with backing from TSI as new customers are acquired and really led under the stewardship of Yoav going forward.
So, I think it’s probably easier to hand over now to Yoav and he’ll be able to talk you through the business in a lot more detail.
Q2: Yoav, are you able to tell us a bit more about what Brandshield does as a business?
A2: So, Brandshield is in the threat intelligence industry and our solution is from brand protection to online threat handling. What our system basically does is crawling the online internet to find anything to do with a company’s name, a brand name, a person’s name or product name that is potentially phishing or fraud done on a website, social media pages, marketplaces like eBay, Alibaba or Amazon and so on and so on.
The system uses AI and big data, it analyses everything it found, automatically, and priorities the potential risks, it finds the network of abuse and then it has an action layer which is automating enforcement against these phishing or some or fraud or counterfeit cases and our enforcement team is also hunting those items online and takes them down. That, in a nutshell, is what we do.
Q3: Now, as we know, Two Shields Investments have invested in Brandshield, Yoav can you tell us a bit more about how this relationship came about?
A3: We met with a few people from TSI a couple of years ago and they got very interested in what we were doing, we got more into the details and at some point, decided to invest in the company and have been very supportive since.
Q4: What does TSI’s investment mean for BrandShield’s operations and your clients?
A4: I think having Two Shields Investments as one of our investors, as an investment company, is important. It gives us a continuous backing for operations and it also gives us some visibility to the public market which we’re, on the long-term, thinking is an option for the company, so it’s a good partner.
Q5: Finally, can you tell us about the outlook for your company?
A5: Brandshield has experience in the past year and a half of very rapid growth, we see that the problems that we’re dealing with are, I would say, one of the growing and most problematic problems for companies worldwide, it’s part of the cyber security and the brand protection industry.
I think that we’re just at the beginning of where we can go and we are looking forward to continuing our rapid growth, pushing forward, getting the word out with regards to top notch customers in the past couple of years, keeping them very happy. This is where we’re going because we’re going to continue going in that direction.