I’m pleased to announce ComplyAdvantage has raised $50 million in our Series C funding round led by new investor Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, with continued participation from existing investors Index Ventures and Balderton Capital.

Some of the worst atrocities on Earth—terrorism, human trafficking and sexual exploitation— are funded by financial crime. Financial crime can only be eliminated when organizations have the data and technology necessary to flag and revoke criminals’ access to the financial system. At its core, until organizations have access to a robust and comprehensive database of external risk indicators, technology can only go so far. Significant steps have been taken on the technology side to stop financial crime where it has not been solved anywhere before – but the problem the industry faces remains a significant one for ComplyAdvantage to fix.

Our clients trust us with their AML/CFT risk obligations. If our technology does not detect and alert their teams, financial crime will continue to weave its way through the system. We take this responsibility seriously. 

Over the past few months, organizations across the world continue to fail to detect and eliminate financial crime: 

  • The recent and ongoing Wirecard scandal which has seen $2 billion vanish from a company’s accounts and connections to the Novichok poisoning attack in Salisbury, UK. This has created a wealth of negative news for future businesses to take into account. 
  • Carlos Ghosn, former Nissan chairman and an international PEP, made a daring escape from house arrest in Japan. While making for a good news story, it was proof that powerful individuals implicated in misappropriating funds are able to avoid justice. Ghosn achieved this using a previously unknown cache of wealth to finance his escape. 
  • The conclusion of an EY whistleblower’s story when he uncovered the firm’s role in a huge money laundering operation in Dubai. Gold was being smuggled through the Middle Eastern city, which has become a global hub for gold trading. 
  • The 1MDB scandal continues to unfold in 2020. Billions of dollars were illegally disbursed from the fund to multiple criminal actors including many PEPs who have since gone on trial. The case was notable for how the money impacted cultural levels of life as well. The co-founder of Red Granite Productions, the production company behind Oscar-nominated film The Wolf of Wall Street, received $248 million and was one of three films financed using suspected stolen funds from 1MDB. 

If only 1-3% of financial crime is ever caught, consider the examples above and then imagine the undetected and undeterred. At its best, this industry faces a 97% failure rate. There is work to be done. 

While we have a long road ahead of us at ComplyAdvantage, I am proud of the steps that have been taken to build the first global, connected database of people and companies powering world-leading financial crime detection tools. Our adverse media, politically exposed persons, sanctions and watchlists datasets are leading in true positive hit rates and the reduction of false positives. Our data is improving to further expose links to relatives and known associates, ultimate beneficial owners and state-owned entity directors. 

This year has brought tremendous growth for the company. Q2 represented our highest quarterly revenue to date. We have enjoyed a wave of external recognition highlighting our progress, exhibited recently by our inclusion in CB Insights’ AI 100 list and our recognition as Celent’s Advanced Technology Award in their KYC Solutions report. Perhaps most notably, we have been invited by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer to contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with policymakers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.

This is just the beginning. Our Series C funding will alter our trajectory as we accelerate the development of our industry-leading data and technology to detect and mitigate complex risk exposure in the financial industry across the globe.  We would not be where we are today without the dedication of our team across four global offices, the support of our investors, and the trust of our clients in over 75 countries.

The task we face is a monumental one. I’m excited for ComplyAdvantage to enter our next phase as we tackle the unsolved problems of financial crime risk  

 

Charles Delingpole, Founder & CEO of ComplyAdvantage

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