Feedzai raises $200m pushing it to unicorn status
Feedzai, the data science fintech that prevents, detects and rolls back fraud risk for financial institutions, has achieved unicorn status after its latest finding drive.
The additional funding will be used to speed up Feedzai’s global expansion and increase its product range.
The California-based startup which was founded in 2011, develops real-time machine learning solutions to analyse big data to identify fraudulent payment transitions. It also provides services that minimise risk in the financial services, retail and e-commerce industries.
The fintech’s cutting edge AI solutions help banks and other fintechs to recognise and prevent payments fraud, money laundering and other types of illicit activities. The solutions provide automated and intelligent products that monitor activity in real time when a bank account is opened, a transaction is made on a mobile device or money is transferred.
According to reports, Feedzai’s technology is used to monitor and secure the actions of over 800 million customers across 190 countries. It’s products and services provide protection for an estimated 50% of the populations of both UK and Canada. It also handles security services for four of the biggest banks in the US and counts Citigroup Inc, Fiserv Inc and Banco Santander, as well as well known fintechs such as SoFi as clients.
Digital banking trends
The rapid increase in digital banking globally has led to sharp upswing in financial crime. According to a recent FeedZai report, in the last quarter of 2020, an estimated 650% increase in online account scams and a 250% increase in fraudulent attacks has hit the financial services sector globally.
The shift has resulted in financial institutions and banks seeking innovative technology to combat the increased online crime boom.
Nuno Sebastiao, CEO and chairman of Feedzai, explained, “Feedzai’s technology is the c ornerstone of today’s commerce as consumers across the globe expect fast, reliable, seamless, and, above all, secure banking and payment experiences. The world has faster digitization requirements, and financial institutions need reliable solutions that thrive in this new digital environment in days, not months
Commenting on the recent cybercrime boom, he said, "Financial crime moves fast, 2020 and the global pandemic accelerated that even further.We’re thrilled to be working with KKR to bring more innovation into this space and to keep protecting our customers from an ever-evolving financial crime landscape.”
Stephen Shanley, Managing Director at KKR, said the partnership was an opportunity to expand and create stronger solutions. “Feedzai offers a powerful solution to one of the biggest challenges we are facing today: financial crime in the digital age. Global commerce depends on future-proof technologies capable of dealing with a rapidly evolving threat landscape. At the same time, consumers rightfully demand a great customer experience, in addition to strong security layers when using banking or payments services.”
Sebastiao added, "To stay ahead, the product and research need to be faster, and that is what we're investing in.”
Image credit: FeedZai
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”