An startup that uses artificial intelligence to stop banks dealing with terrorists raised $8.2 million

Charlie Delingpole ComplyAdvantageComplyAdvantageCharles Delingpole, founder of ComplyAdvantage.

A “RegTech” startup that helps banks and insurance companies vet potential clients has raised $8.2 million (£6.7 million) to expand to the US.

London-based ComplyAdvantage has raised the sum from top European venture capital fund Balderton. The money will be put towards opening a New York office and expanding into the US.

ComplyAdvantage uses machine learning and artificial intelligence technology to help finance firms do legal checks on clients to make sure they’re not breaking any rules by dealing with them.

Stephen Ball, VP of sales and marketing, told Business Insider: “We’re focused around understanding the risk around people and companies you do business with. What we’ve built is an A.I. and machine learning thing under the radar for several years. It’s a very difficult thing to do, we’ve invested millions in building our team and to monitor global data sources and build profiles of people who pose financial crime risk.

“It could be because they’re on sanction lists, it could be because they’re on Interpol’s watch list, they could be politically exposed, and we monitor the media as well. We’ve got machine learning to read the news and update if it’s relevant if it spots insurance fraud in Jamaica or something.”

The company, founded in 2014, already has over 200 clients, covering fintech startups, banks, and insurance firms.

ComplyAdvantage is one of a number of so-called “RegTech” — regulation technology — startups that have sprung up over the last year across Europe. These startups are aiming to reduce the cost of doing business for banks, which are facing mounting, expensive regulation requirements.

Tim Bunting, General Partner at Balderton Capital, says in an emailed statement: “We believe that this is one of the few remaining large industries that is still ripe for digital disruption.”

Ball says: “There’s always been technology to help with regulatory problems. I guess the industry just hasn’t really been introduced to newer, better technology. Everyone’s doing stuff in quite old school ways. The traditional way is to just throw people at the problem. It’s manual, dull, repetitive tasks, which is great for machine learning and A.I. to improve. Then you can get people focused on the high-value stuff.”

ComplyAdvantage employs over 50 people, with a tech hub in Romania, head office in Notting Hill, London, and its new office in New York.

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