The broader area of cybersecurity – not only defending networks, but also identifying fraudulent activity – has seen a surge in activity in recent months, and it’s not surprising. The global health pandemic has led to more interactions and transactions online, and the contractions we are feeling in the economy and society have led some to take more desperate and illegal actions, using digital challenges for the make.
Today, a UK company called Quantexa – which has built a branded ‘Contextual Decision Intelligence’ (CDI) machine learning platform that analyzes disparate data points to gain better insight into harmful activities, as well as to creating (more productively) better profiles of the entire customer base of the company – throws a cycle of funding growth to seize this opportunity.
The London-based startup has raised $ 64.7 million, a Series C that it will use to continue to develop its tools and the use cases to apply them, as well as to grow geographically, especially in North America. , in Asia-Pacific and more European territories.
The mission, said Vishal Marria, Founder and CEO of Quantexa, is “to connect the dots to make better business decisions.”
The start-up has grown its business by working for major banks and others in the financial services sector, and Marria added that the plan will be to continue improving the tools for this vertical while expanding into two growing opportunities. : work with insurance and government. / public sector organizations.
Supporters in this round explain how Quantexa is positioning itself in the market and the traction it has seen for its business to date. It is led by Evolution Equity Partners – a VC specializing in innovative cybersecurity startups – with the participation also of former backers Dawn Capital, AlbionVC, HSBC and Accenture, as well as new backers ABN AMRO Ventures. HSBC, Accenture and ABN AMRO are all strategic investors working directly with the startup in their businesses.
In total, Quantexa has “thousands of users” in more than 70 countries, he said, along with other large companies such as Standard Chartered, OFX and Dunn & Bradstreet.
The company has now raised some $ 90 million to date, and reliable sources close to the company tell us the valuation is “well north” of $ 250 million – which I think is between $ 250 million and $ 300 million. of dollars.
Marria said in an interview that he initially came up with the idea for Quantexa – which I believe could be a creative wallet of ‘quantum’ and ‘context’ – while working as an executive director. at Ernst & Young and has seen “many challenges with investigations” in the financial services industry.
“Is he a money launderer?” Is the basic question investigators are trying to answer, but they were tackling it, “using just a little bit of information,” he said. “I thought it was crazy. There must be a better way.
This best way, as conceived by Quantexa, is to solve it in the classic approach of harnessing big data and creating AI algorithms that help, in Marria’s words, connect the dots.
For example, in general, an investigation should do more than just track the activity of an individual or a shell company, and you should look for the most unlikely links between a number of actions in order to build an accurate picture. When you think about it, trying to identify, track, stop, and catch a big money launderer (a typical use case for Quantexa software) is a classic big data problem.
While there is a lot of attention these days to data protection and security breaches that leak sensitive customer information, Quantexa’s approach, Marria said, is to sell software, and not to ingest proprietary data into its engine to provide information. He said that these days deployments are typically done on-premises or in private clouds, rather than using public cloud infrastructure, and that when Quantexa provides data to complement its customers’ data, it comes from from publicly available sources (for example, Companies House filings in Great Britain).
There are a number of companies offering services in the same general area as Quantexa. They include those that pose more as business intelligence platforms that help detect fraud (like Looker) to those that are undercover and pose as AI firms working behind the scenes for businesses and governments to solve tough challenges, such as Palantir, through to others focusing specifically on some of the technology’s use cases, such as ComplyAdvantage and its focus on financial fraud detection.
Marria says she has a few key differentiators from these. First, how his software works on a large scale: “This comes down to entity resolution that [calculations] can be done in real time and in batches, ”he said. “And it’s a platform, software that is easily deployed and configured at a much lower total cost of ownership. It’s technology and it’s quite important in today’s climate.
And that’s what hit investors.
“Quantexa’s proprietary platform heralds a new generation of business intelligence technology that uses a unique contextual view of customers to profoundly improve operational decision making and overcome big data challenges,” said Richard Seewald, Founding Partner and director of Evolution, in a press release. “Its impressive rapid growth, renowned customer base, and potential for value creation across many industries make Quantexa a fantastic partner that I look forward to working with.” Seewald joins the board with this round.