Anti-money laundering software startup TookiTaki raises $11.7 million in additional Series A funding

TookiTaki, a startup that develops machine learning-based financial compliance software, announced today it has raised a $11.7 million in additional Series A funding, led by Viola Fintech and SIG Asia Investment, with participation from Normura Holdings. Existing investors Illuminate Financial, Jungle Ventures and SEEDs Capital also returned for the extension, which brings TookiTaki’s total Series A (first announced in March) to $19.2 million.

The company is using the funding to enhance their anti-money laundering (AML) and reconciliation software, and to hire for its offices in the United States, Singapore and India.

In a press statement, Viola Fintech general partner Tomer Michaeli said “With almost twenty years’ experience that Viola has in the AML sector, we found Tookitaki’s approach to be very unique. Its pragmatic way of creating an overlay on top of legacy AML systems helps increase accuracy and significantly lower operating costs for financial institutions. Moreover, its regulator-ready ‘glass box’ solution shows an innovative approach and a deep understanding of the challenges in the modern AML solutions market.”

 

TookiTaki was co-founded by CEO Abhishek Chatterjee and COO Jeeta Bandopadhyay in 2012. When TechCrunch reported on its seed round in 2015, the company provided data analytics to marketers. But it decided to focus its machine-learning platform for predictive analytics on regulatory compliance in late 2016 after realizing that there is a bigger business opportunity for vertical AI than a horizontal platform play, the founders told TechCrunch in an email.

Chatterjee was an associate at JP Morgan during the 2008 financial crisis and worked with U.S. regulators to make sure the bank’s products complied with new regulations. During that time, he says he realized that current anti-money laundering solutions reduced the effectiveness of compliance programs, and also struggled to keep up with the growth of digital banking and online transactions. Many legacy AML software had high false positive rates, TookiTaki’s founders say, and also missed activity by more sophisticated money launderers.

TookiTaki claims it reduces false positives for transaction monitoring by 50%, a result validated by Deloitte. Its software uses explainable machine learning models, which means their decisions are broken down in a way that can be easily understood by compliance staff, while providing them with the details they need for investigations. TookiTaki’s products can also help minimize costs by using a distributed computing framework, so it can be deployed in the cloud or on premise.

The software has two main modules: one that looks for suspicious transactions across different systems, and names screening, which screens for high-risk individual and corporate customers. Other TookiTaki features include machine learning algorithms that are constantly updating for new money laundering patterns and dividing alerts into low, medium and high-risk, making it easier for companies to figure out how to prioritize investigations.

Detectify raises additional €21M for its ethical hacker network

Detectify, the Sweden-born cybersecurity startup that offers a website vulnerability scanner powered by the crowd, has raised €21 million in further funding.

Leading the round is London-based VC firm Balderton Capital, with participation from existing investors Paua Ventures, Inventure and Insight Partners.

Detectify says the new funding will be used to continue to hire “world-class” talent to further accelerate the company’s growth and deliver on its mission to reduce internet security vulnerabilities.

Founded in late 2013 by a self-described group of “elite hackers” from Sweden, the company offers a website security tool that uses automation to scan websites for vulnerabilities to help customers (i.e. developers) stay on top of security. The more unique part of the service, however, is that it is in part maintained — or, rather, kept up to date — via the crowd in the form of Detectify’s “ethical hacker network.”

As we explained when the startup raised its €5 million Series A round, this sees top-ranked security researchers submit vulnerabilities that are then built into the Detectify scanner and used in customers’ security tests. The clever part is that researchers get paid every time their submitted module identifies a vulnerability on a customer’s website. In other words, incentives are kept aligned, giving Detectify a potential advantage and greater scale compared to similar website security automation tools.

Detectify co-founder and CEO Rickard Carlsson tells me the company has made a lot of progress in the past 12 months, including building out the crowdsourcing part of its proposition in order to grow the number of known vulnerabilities.

“Modules from crowdsourcing hackers have now generated 110,000 plus vulnerabilities in our customer base,” he says. “And the community is about 2.5 times as large now”.

In the last year, Detectify has also expanded its client base in the U.S, and says it now counts leading software companies such as Trello, Spotify and King as customers.

The young startup seems to be scoring well on the gender diversity front, too. It says that almost half (45%) of its 83 employees are female, including 50% at C-level. In addition, there are close to 30 nationalities across Detectify’s Stockholm and Boston offices.

Adds James Wise, partner at Balderton Capital, in a statement: “Detectify brings together the power of human ingenuity, the immense scalability of software, and a strong culture of transparency and integrity to provide world-class security to everyone. This is a fundamentally new approach to protecting businesses from new cyber security threats, and alongside our other cyber security investments, including Darktrace, Recorded Future & Tessian, we see Detectify as part of a new wave of solutions to make the web safer for everyone.”