AWS Startups Blog

DataDome duo Benjamin Fabre and Benjamin Barrier on bot detection, risk mitigation, and being three-time entrepreneurs

DataDome's Bot FightersWhen people talk about “serial entrepreneurs,” they are talking about folks like Benjamin Fabre and Benjamin Barrier.

DataDome is the third startup Fabre has co-founded with his friend and longtime colleague Fabien Grenier.  And it’s also not the first time Fabre has included Barrier into his startup mix, in this case as partner and chief sales officer for DataDome, which launched in 2015.

The DataDome team describes themselves as “bot hunters,” which is a good summation of what their product does — tracking down bots for customers and then deciding whether they are beneficial or harmful. Should a particular bot be allowed to interact with a site or service, or should DataDome send it packing? They currently sell their product into three distinct verticals: media, e-commerce, and classifieds.

While bots are all the rage now, robot activity was not nearly as pervasive and prevalent when DataDome launched; rather, it was a subject better known by CTOs than the average consumer. So while it seems quaint now, Fabre and Barrier had to work tirelessly to make people realize a bot problem even existed, let alone allow them to essentially audit their website.

With bots, the DataDome team undertook a serious technical challenge. Unsurprisingly, it is an extremely complex topic to detect bots. An enormous percentage of all traffic on websites is automated (that is, not human) and some bot traffic is very dangerous, as they can quickly test millions of log-in credentials and put companies at risk for account takeover. According to Fabre and Barrier, this account takeover activity has a success rate of about 8%, as many web users use the same credentials on all sites. Fabre and Barrier also note that robots are categorized into three different groups and they are all prevalent in DataDome’s three verticals.

With all of their clients, DataDome identifies the bot traffic on the website and the client is able to see for themselves that on average, 50% of all traffic is automated. When thinking about scaling and architecting, Fabre and Barrier note that the company had to be global and the software had to be scalable, and in terms of differentiation, bot threats evolve every day, so they are always working on improving detection capabilities.

For more from Fabre & Barrier, listen here.