Featurespace, a startup that provides artificial intelligence (AI) software to combat fraud and money laundering, has raised £30m in funding to drive its next phase of growth.

Its technology uses machine learning – a subset of AI that sees algorithms improve as they are fed more data – to establish a ‘normal’ baseline of digital financial activity and then flag actions that look suspicious.

The software, called “Adaptive Behavioral Analytics”, is used by four of the UK’s five largest banks.

The latest funding round, led by later stage investment firm Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, will help drive expansion in the UK, the US, Singapore, Europe and Australia.

Martina King, CEO, Featurespace, said: “During these challenging times, our machine learning models have automatically adapted to the shift in consumer, business and criminal behaviour. It is our continued focus to deliver industry-leading, fraud and anti-money laundering solutions to our customers and partners.

“We are grateful to our existing investors for continuing to invest in our growth and we are delighted to welcome Merian Chrysalis to our investment community.”

Featurespace eyes £3.89tn problem

Featurespace, which is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, but also has offices in London and Atlanta, US, currently has its technology deployed in more than 180 countries.

The injection of fresh capital will bolster its chances of winning over new customers. Fraud is estimated to have cost the global economy £3.89tn in 2019, meaning there is no shortage of financial institutions seeking tools to tackle financial crime.

In September 2019 the firm won a major contract with HSBC to combat money laundering and automatically detect suspicious banking behaviour. It also counts TSYS, Worldpay, RBS NatWest Group and Betfair are among its customers.

Richard Watts, Portfolio Manager, Merian Chrysalis, commented: “Featurespace has developed truly innovative technology and provides financial institutions with a world-class solution in the fast-growing fraud detection and prevention market.

We are delighted to announce this fantastic addition to the Merian Chrysalis portfolio and we look forward to supporting the Featurespace team as they continue to grow and develop the business.”


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