Silent Eight, a startup using artificial intelligence (AI) to detect money laundering and terrorism financing, has secured additional funding to brings its total capital investment to $15m.

The company said it will use the funds to support R&D and for further expansion in the US market.

Venture capital firm OTB Ventures led the funding round. SC Ventures and Koh Boon Hwee, chairman and general partner of Altara Ventures, were among the other investors.

Founded in 2013, Silent Eight provides a machine learning tool that trawls through financial transactions and compares them with sanctions lists, court cases, criminal records and other data that might indicate foul play. Its primary customers are banks and financial organisations.

The company says its technology is auditable, allowing regulators to look under the bonnet at how the AI decision was made to ensure compliance with economic sanction laws.

Last year 12 of the world’s top 50 banks were fined for non-compliance with anti-money laundering and know your customer regulations. Global financial institutions were slapped with approximately $10bn in fines for failing to comply with these financial regulations.

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The startup raised $6.2m in November 2019 during a Series A funding round. Today’s funding announcement doubles Silent Eight’s valuation since then. The company said it has “doubled in scale” since the start of 2020 as the pandemic has driven it to launch an on-demand, cloud-based AI solution for real-time transaction screening. Silent Eight’s solution is in use by companies spread across more than 70 countries.

“Every bank and every financial institution aims to provide a bespoke customer experience in a secure and seamless way,” said Martin Markiewicz, founder and CEO at Silent Eight.

“As financial criminals get savvier in their techniques, our team’s goal is to provide a unique solution that prevents them from endangering the global economy and profiting from those most vulnerable. We are very encouraged to see our investors’ confidence in our product, and we are proud to support our clients in their continued diligence to make the world safer.”

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