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London-based machine learning startup ComplyAdvantage raises $8.2 Mn in Series A round

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ComplyAdvantage, a new London-based startup, raked in $8.2 million in a Series A funding led by Balderton Capital. This money shall be pumped into growth across Europe and the U.S. Very quick to act, they’re even opening a New York office this week!

This startup claims to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help firms manage compliance obligations at reasonable prices. Not only are they going to take on your headaches for you, they’re also not going to extort you for it. Sweet deal, right?

ComplyAdvantage was founded by Charles Delingpole, who has also previously founded Market Invoice. His newest venture consists of a team of compliance and risk experts, engineers and data scientists. Their mission is clear: helping fight financial crime by revolutionising the way companies can protect themselves from criminals, terrorists and money launderers. They are committed to building smarter, more efficient compliance technology tools.

To that end, the startup began by helping small number of businesses meet complex anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) requirements. Since then, it has developed its product to also cover things like Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) lists and other risk and compliance areas that are hard to scale.

ComplyAdvantage VP of Sales & Marketing Stephen Ball, in conversation with TechCrunch, says:

The way organisations screen and monitor their customer relationships to comply with sanctions regulations and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing risk is fundamentally broken. ComplyAdvantage is here to help compliance and risk professionals fix it.

He also adds:

Legacy technologies are outdated, expensive and inefficient, typically generating large amounts of manual work in the form of unnecessary risk alerts for the team to review. Furthermore, the criminals are winning, with existing solutions having limited impact on actually reducing financial crime.

And that, according to Ball, is the problem that compliance officers are facing. Originally drawn in by the idea of fighting crime, what they instead find themselves often doing is a box-ticking exercise that is ineffective but designed to keep the companies they work for on the right side of the regulators, although that often goes pear-shaped too. Meanwhile, regulator fines are kind of expected and baked into the pricing models of financial services.

ComplyAdvantage has vowed to fix this, and bets that AI and machine learning can help compliance scale properly and says the startup is part of a “regtech revolution” that is coming to financial services. Ball goes on to say:

ComplyAdvantage are at the forefront unleashing the power of AI and ML to change the way compliance is done.

Tim Bunting, General Partner at Balderton Capital, adds in a statement:

We believe that this is one of the few remaining large industries that is still ripe for digital disruption. We are thrilled to be backing Charles and his team, they are well on their way to changing the way companies can understand and monitor risk around their clients. Their mission is truly exciting, and relevant to all businesses.

 


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