V.i. Labs’ Technology Could Turn Software Pirates Into Paying Customers, for Software Vendors Big and Small

12/13/10Follow @xconomy

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application programming interface for software makers to set up triggers that notify them when someone is using their technology. It provides them with a dashboard that can follow software users and offenders based on factors like network domains, IP addresses, and e-mail domains, and determine their geographic location. And rather than just shutting them off from the software, V.i. clients can identify and connect with those found to be pirating their data. “Our tool provides them with the data and they can decide how they want to act on it,” Goff says.

V.i. last raised outside funding in 2008: a $4 million financing that came as an add-on it to its $8 million Series B round. Its backers include Ascent Venture Partners, Core Capital Partners, and Rockford Capital. The roughly 20-person company is also adding to its sales team and working on putting out research on how customers are using the data its technology provides, Goff says.

This past summer, V.i. launched a software-as-a-service product called GetViSi targeted at smaller, younger businesses. “Their stuff is being pirated too, but they might not be at the point where they’re ready for full solution,” Goff says.

In addition to offering the tracking and monitoring services that CodeArmor does, GetViSi can home in on other key information about a company’s customers and users—beyond cases of piracy. The product can tell smaller software companies things like which product features users take to most, and the time gap between download and installation, so companies can know how to best reach and market to users in the future. The new product and functions takes V.i. technology beyond the anti-piracy space and into a customer and business intelligence role, Goff says.

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  • http://www.theblackninja.com/ Jeb

    That is genius. If they go through all the trouble of cracking it, then of course they are potential customers. They would probably be the most dedicated customers since they are also obviously talented and skillful enough to try and beat the system.

  • Johannes

    So essentially this is a spy software for pirated software.

    “It provides them with [...] network domains, IP addresses, and e-mail domains, and determine their geographic location.”

  • http://www.vilabs.com Michael Goff

    Just to clarify – CodeArmor Intelligence is not spyware. It is integrated into the application by the software vendor and only runs when piracy is detected. It can also be configured so it does not collect any personal information. It is nonintrusive and is comparable to phone home functionality in a wide range of applications that check for the latest updates, report crashes, etc.