London-based financial crime intelligence startup Schwarzthal Tech has raised £150,000 in a pre-seed funding. The round was led by the U.K.’s most active seed-stage investor SFC Capital. The startup will use the funds to further develop the platform, build a marketing team as well as filing for an intellectual property patent on their ‘Know your Network’ methodology.
Economic and financial crime are growing across the globe. In the U.K., economic crime costs the government and the U.K. taxpayers billions of pounds per year. Know your customer (KYC) policies were implemented across financial institutions to tackle this problem. However, KYC processes take place when a bank or financial institution onboards a new client and are aimed at assessing the level of potential risk the customer could pose. The goal prevents banks from storing data resulting from criminal activity, including mob activity, terrorism or drug trafficking. However, the globalisation of financial crime means that it rarely involves only one individual or company, which is why knowing not only your client but also their network has become increasingly important for financial institutions across the world.
Schwarzthal Tech uses AI to fight financial crime by gathering publicly available information and building an individual’s network to support investigations into potential criminals. The company’s know your network (KYN) methodology introduces a multi-dimensional and comprehensive view of a clients’ connections to give financial institutions a holistic risk assessment.
The brainchild of Marius-Cristian Frunza, the AI-driven platform aims to provide better and faster tools for investigators and compliance professionals and to democratise the fight against financial crime. Schwarzthal Tech gathers publicly available information in different languages across databases globally - political exposure and sanctions list, company registries, social media, etc. to build an individual’s network and create a visual presentation of the network presented to the customer.
Marius-Cristian, CEO and co-founder of Schwarzthal Tech said: “It is no longer enough to look at individuals as isolated entities. They are connected to complex networks of people and companies across the world that make it difficult to find criminal activities. Our platform will help expose connections to criminal rings, corruption and illegal activities and prevent money laundering and fraud from potential individuals.” Marius-Cristian played a key advisory role during the production of Netflix documentary Lords of Scam (2021) - about the rise and fall of scammers who defrauded the EU carbon quota system and made millions in the process.