Anti-fraud startup Ravelin has raised £1.3 million from a host of top investors, including the founder of Wonga and the newly appointed chair of Tech City UK.
Ravelin uses machine learning, combined with human analysis, to detect credit card fraud in “on-demand” businesses — everything from food delivery and car hailing apps to online gambling and subscription businesses.
CEO Martin Sweeney told Business Insider: “We specialise in apps. I mentioned food delivery and taxis, those are big areas in Europe at the moment and we’re working very hard in that space. But also online gambling. It’s so easy to commit fraud with these new on-demand businesses and it’s a tremendous problem for businesses in this space.
“Credit card fraud is a growing business and getting details is getting easier and easier. For example, you can go on to the dark web right now and with a couple of bitcoins you can pay for and download credit card details and it will even give you a money back guarantee in case that card gets spotted for fraud.”
Ravelin has raised the £1.3 million, its second round of funding, from early stage venture capital funds Amadeus Capital Partners, Playfair Capital, and Passion Capital, where TechCityUK chair and government fintech envoy Eileen Burbidge is a partner.
Wonga founder Errol Damelin and Indeed.com founder Paul Forster also put money into the early-stage company.
Ravelin has gone through the Barclays TechStars accelerator programme and has been working with business in an early “beta” testing phase for the last 6 months.
Sweeney says: “We apply machine learning principles to stop certain actions and behaviours. But also we allow people to step in if they need to. The high-rollers in the gambling space will be very similar to fraudsters. How do you distinguish from the two?
“The combination of machine learning with human oversight is hugely powerful. We’re giving people control while automating the bulk of the work.”
The money will go towards building out the product and hiring more staff. London0-based Ravelin currently employs 14 people.
Prior to setting up Ravelin Sweeney worked for missile manufacturer MBDA and he says Ravelin is looking at hiring more people from the defence industry.
He says: “The team here is comprised of people primarily from a software background but we’re also adding people now with a very strong security background. We’re hiring people out of the Israeli Intelligence Services and a few others.”