Amsterdam-based financial transaction monitoring system Sentinels has raised £4.9 million in a seed round led by INKEF Capital. The round also saw participation from a number of Angel Investors including Thijn Lamers and Maikel Lobbezoo, members of the original Adyen crew. Including this funding, Sentinels has raised £7.3 million to date.
The firm is reporting that the funding will be used to further develop the product as well as enter the UK, North American, LATAM, and APAC markets.
“We were attracted to the impressive early traction; particularly Sentinels’ ability to convert small-to-large fintechs, as well as more traditional banks, who recognise the imperative to change. Coming from the payments industry myself, I see a huge market opportunity for Sentinels,” comments INKEF’s Kyang Yung.
Sentinels was launched just 18 months ago by former McKinsey & Company associate Joost van Houten and is a spin-out from venture studio Slimmer AI. The system is designed and built to address the modern world in a centuries-old industry.
Using an AI-powered transaction monitoring system, Sentinels analyses internal data siloes and feeds in external sources including sanctions lists, merchant websites, and negative media to create a fuller picture of any given financial transaction under its watch. A whole lot of tech, including expert logic, machine learning models, and graph networks, then separate the wheat from the chaff and flag any definitive anomalies.
"In less than five years, we’ve seen countless companies enter the compliance space and a 10x increase in the number of compliance staff; and yet money laundering still remains a significant challenge for financial institutions,” comments van Houten. “The big issue is that legacy technology is increasingly out-of-step with the needs of fintechs and other fast-growing institutions. Our aim is to help financial institutions keep track of who their customers really are and how they behave – not only to understand risks but also to serve them better.”