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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Norwegian fintech secures $10.8M in Series A funding to fight against money laundering

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Trondheim-based fintech startup Strise has successfully secured $10.8 million in a Series A funding round, with leading VC firm Atomico taking the helm in the investment backed by participation from existing investors such as Curiosity VC. Additionally, a notable group of angel investors joined the funding round, including prominent industry figures such as Camilla Giesecke (Klarna COO), Phil Chambers (founder of Peakon, exited to Workday), Allison Pickens (former COO of Gainsight), Riya Grover (CEO and co-founder of Sequence), Francois Callens (former CFO of Depop), and Marcus Krylborn (growth at Snap). The startup’s advanced AI technology streamlines customer onboarding and KYC/KYB checks, offering a cost-effective and efficient solution to combat money laundering.

Strise plans to utilize this capital infusion to expand into key European markets, starting with the UK, and further enhance its AML product offerings. Atomico Partner Don Hoang, a former senior executive at Uber and Revolut, will also join the Strise board, further bolstering the company’s resources and expertise as it continues its mission to combat money laundering and enhance AML compliance solutions.

Since its commercial launch in 2019, Strise has become a key player in the Nordic finance sector, with 70% of the region’s top-tier banks now using their service, helping them turn AML from a manual burden to an automated winner. Strise counts amongst its earliest customers major Nordic banks such as Nordea, Handelsbanken and Vipps MobilePay, one of Europe’s largest bank-owned mobile payment providers. Moreover, its reach extends beyond the Nordics, with US-based heavyweight law firm Orrick and global professional services company EY (UK) two of the first companies to have already joined Strise’s Early Access Program in the UK.

This new investment will drive Strise’s international expansion across key European markets, starting with the UK and expanding its customer base across the financial, insurance, legal, and other industries. Strise will also deploy the funding to further enhance its end-to-end AML product offering, solidifying its place as a leading disruptor in the fight against financial crime and ensuring safer and more transparent business dealings.

Having been quick to embrace early versions of the technology known today as GenAI, Strise has designed its system from its inception to harness the power of AI in tackling financial crime while remaining at the forefront of new advances. The Strise system marries a robust knowledge graph with a user-friendly interface, effortlessly incorporating AI advancements. The seamless blend of network data, AI, and natural language processing technologies empowers regulated companies with intelligent insights to simplify customer onboarding and implement smart risk-based AML processes. Strise also offers real-time, comprehensive KYC and KYB checks through perpetual customer monitoring.

Marit Rødevand, CEO and co-founder of Strise, comments, “If banks don’t adapt to AI, they risk falling behind. With crime and regulations becoming more complex, traditional methods aren’t enough. Without automation, fighting financial crime becomes costly and inefficient. Strise is leading the way in this change – we help AML and compliance teams work faster, detect crime more accurately, and stay compliant, protecting their reputation in the process.”

Atomico partner Don Hoang says, “Strise’s powerful knowledge graph, combined with AI and NLP technologies and an intuitive user interface is a game-changer for compliance teams. Its existing customers, including major Nordic banks and payment services, have reported a 90% reduction in diligence time and a 30% cost saving since implementing the system. We are proud to partner with founders Marit, Sigve and Patrick, who are on a mission to finally stop financial crime by building the first automated AML platform that everyone wants to use.”

The UN estimated in 2020 that around 2.7% of global GDP – $1.6 trillion – is laundered worldwide every year, and that $7 trillion in private wealth is hidden in haven countries, with 10% of world GDP held offshore. As financial crime continues to rise, so do fines – surging more than 50% to almost $5 billion in 2022. The majority of businesses’ difficulties with AML stem from issues in KYC and KYB processes, especially in the due diligence phase, despite organisations typically spending billions on compliance.

Beyond cost, tackling compliance issues can become all-consuming for management teams, as failures come with steep fines, costly remediation plans and a hit to their reputation. Existing KYB and KYC processes tend to be overly reliant on manual processes, legacy systems and point solutions, meaning businesses can often struggle to stay on top of ever-changing regulatory directives. To mitigate this, Strise has built a modern system that uses AI and enables automation, which turns AML for regulated companies into a vehicle for growth rather than a cost burden. With SOC 2 certification, Strise also ensures data protection and adherence to stringent privacy standards such as GDPR and safe user journeys.

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Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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