Press Articles

How Brisbane security startup FunCaptcha got in front of Electronic Arts and Facebook

CSO – The Premier Resource for Data Security Executives

Overseas success has long been the often-elusive goal of many Australian companies, but one Brisbane startup is seeing doors opening after its participation in an Austrade trade mission to Silicon Valley last month.

That company, FunCaptcha, had already scored some small wins since it began looking to the US market a year ago. Its novel approach to CAPTCHA services – used by high-volume Web sites to ensure that visitors are real humans and not bots written to circumvent access control procedures – has caught the attention of the likes of Electronic Arts and StubHub, which recently tapped FunCaptcha’s managed services platform to control access to online tickets for an in-demand boxing match.

Given that the event sold out in around 20 minutes, the pressure to perform to mission-critical standards was on. But the fact that the platform came through with flying colours is a matter of some satisfaction for Kevin Gosschalk, who founded the company several years ago and is helping push it from strength to strength…

Polygon consults FunCaptcha on how Pokémon Go bots are ruining the game


…”Bots flood the in-game economy and out-compete real players,” Matthew Ford, a former game designer who now works on the security system FunCaptcha, told Polygon. He has followed the uprising of Pokémon Go bots since the game’s launch last month, blogging about the damage he thinks that cheaters have wrought on the game, and reached out to us about what he calls a security problem as much as one with gameplay.

“Real players get no chance to win at competitive Pokemon ‘gyms,’ so the game’s main goal is ruined by the cheaters. [Pokémon Go] players complain that all their gyms are impossible to beat, and they know that bots can build up accounts that dominate gyms, so the perception is going sour.”…

FunCaptcha scales with top software quality consultancy

For immediate release

Last month, pre-eminent software quality and risk mitigation consultancy, KJR, announced the cooperation of their Brisbane office with FunCaptcha. As stakes in the Brisbane startup scene continue to soar, both companies have come together to craft the ultimate environment and support network for digital innovation.

“We’re thrilled to have the team at FunCaptcha working out of our Brisbane office. It just seemed like a natural step for us to start actively supporting some emerging home-grown tech players who embody the very essence of disruption and transformation.” says Ashley Howden CEO of KJR.

KJR was founded in 1997 with a vision for making the best ideas in software quality practical and accessible to the Australian IT industry. Today, KJR have over 100 software quality specialists working across the country and maintain strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, including Microsoft, HP and CA Technologies.

“As a startup we are always looking for great partners that can help us grow and achieve success globally. KJR invited us to work alongside them where we can focus on our goal of providing cutting edge software that operates at vast scale – something that KJR help their clients with everyday.” – Kevin Gosschalk, CEO and Founder of FunCaptcha

Founded in January 2013, FunCaptcha powers CAPTCHAs in 100+ countries and has grown to be the first line of defence against spam for millions of users. Telling computers and humans apart isn’t an easy task, but FunCaptcha ensures that it isn’t hard for users with a team of pedigree alumni from Apple, Microsoft and Atari.

StartUpSmart talks to co-founder Matthew Ford on our recent successes

StartUpSmart – Australia’s leading startup news and opinion site

Since launching in 2012, FunCaptcha has raised over $1 million in venture capital, secured thousands of customers, and is eyeing off more.

The startup, which now has over 30,000 websites using its product, is trying to solve a very common and often infuriating problem faced by pretty much anyone who uses the internet.

GQ Australia names FunCaptcha as one of the next big things in tech

GQ Australia – Be a better man.

GQ Australia names us alongside apps like Slack, Canva and Alfred as one of the next big things in tech.

“You know when you’re trying to get onto a site and it makes you type that annoying letter-number combo to make sure you’re not a robot? Well, Funcaptcha is all about making that fun, prompting you to play a mini-game instead of plugging in random words.”

FunCaptcha and Tiger Pistol talk web hosting for scale and growth

Broadcast – The Official Blog of CrucialHosting

CrucialHosting talked to us and Tiger Pistol about how we managed to build large communities around our ideas. More precisely, they aimed to discover how we developed a plan for scaling web hosting resources and whether this was our idea from the start.

FunCaptcha on AT&T Tech Channel’s “ThreatTraq”

AT&T Tech Channel – Past, Present and Future of world technology.

AT&T Data Security Analysts Brian Rexroad, Matt Keyser, and Jim Clausing, along with Brian Foster of Damballa, discuss FunCaptcha, a new way to do captchas.

Australian start-ups to watch in 2015

The Age – Idependent. Always

We asked five start-up specialists and high-tech punters to tip the fledgling ventures they believe will fly in 2015.

CAPTCHAs killed… by making them fun with FunCaptcha? – Today’s latest IT News & Information

Telstra may have killed the CAPTCHA thanks to an ACCAN initiative pointing out the squiggly letters and numbers are discriminatory against the disabled, but a new Australian start-up aims to kill them by making them fun – and picture based.

SwipeAds captures market with anti-spam games

The Australian – News Corp’s biggest news outlet down under

Mr Ford said FunCaptcha signed up 20.4 per cent more users than a page using an old, twisty letter CAPTCHA and was attracting advertisers largely from the US. “This is the one thing on the web where you are absolutely sure a real person is looking at it,’’ he said. Mr Ford said the performance of the ads was more than 40 times better than similar ads such as banner ads.

Video games: The Internet’s next spam filter?

NBC News – as seen on their Technology front page

Regardless of their failure or success rate in stopping spambots, the fact that CAPTCHAs themselves are becoming more and more frustrating for actual humans to solve may render the entire security apparatus meaningless. That gave the Australian startup SwipeAds an idea: What if, instead of making CAPTCHAs increasingly complex and difficult, you tried to make them fun?

How video games are becoming the internet’s next Turing test

Polygon – a major site about game development and the game industry

CAPTCHA systems are eye roll-inducing, and often unreadable, strings of text a user must enter to prove that they aren’t malware or an automated script. Three Australian game developers banded together to reinvent the challenge response systems the best way they know how: through video games.

Fun News

Matt interviewed on Brisbane radio 4BC

4BC News Talk

You’ll most likely have seen ‘Captcha’ fields in internet forms that want to check that you are a human being and not a spam bot, but they’re extremely frustrating.

Brisbane’s SwipeAds says it has a game-changer for online security


[Ford] and Gosschalk are now moving to the next stage which is to turn FunCaptcha into a revenue earner. They have just secured an undisclosed amount from a first round of angel investment.

Free customisation of FunCaptcha anti-spam solution for a limited time

The Tech Street Journal

…offering free customisation to users for a limited time, so that the FunCaptcha widget better integrates into the design of the host website. The logo and colour scheme can be changed to match the web site’s own scheme, and custom content can be shown to the user before and after the puzzle is solved.

Can we fix CAPTCHA by turning it into a game?

The Daily Dot

The puzzles are indeed easier to decipher for abled users. It takes just a few seconds (in a truly game like touch, FunCAPTCHA tells you how much time you took to solve their puzzles).

Spambot Fighter is now Fun, Fast, and Cute

Digital Journal, Small Business Opportunities, and others

Angry internet users have recently stepped up their campaigns against those ugly, annoying “CAPTCHAs” with twisty letters. Riding a huge wave of attention, the creators of the spammer-blocking mini-game called FunCaptcha are now offering a free visual makeover to match the site’s look and logo.

Radio Interview FunCaptcha co-creator Matthew Ford

Radio 2UE Sydney, Your Business Day with John Stanley

One of the east coast’s most respected journalists, John Stanley, interviews co-creator Matthew Ford on his morning show Your Business Day. Matt talks about spammers, FunCaptcha as a better way to stop them, and a special offer to listeners to have FunCaptcha customized for your site.

Business experts share tips on venture capital funding at State Library event

Courier-Mail – using FunCaptcha as the poster child for hot Australian startups

Despite humble beginnings and a modest marketing approach, the free security program can now be found on 4000 websites and Mr Ford said they are looking to turn their project into a long-term profitable venture.

Brisbane Startup SwipeAds to Rival Google’s ReCAPTCHA and Solve Media

Marketing Digital – a leading site for digital marketing trends; also seen on Anthill

Thankfully, Brisbane-based startup SwipeAds is pioneering the gamification of CAPTCHAs to save us all. On a rainy Brisbane morning, I caught up with ex-Atari game designer and co-founder of SwipeAds, the California-raised Matthew Ford.

Media Assets

Starting Screen


Game: Roll the ball

Roll the ball