Based in London PassFort, a SaaS provider that helps businesses meet compliance requirements such as KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) reports, has closed a $ 16.2 million Series A led by the US growth capital fund, Level Equity.
Existing investors from the startup founded in 2015, OpenOcean, Episode 1, and Entrepreneur First also participated in the round. Series A is a combination of equity and debt, with $ 4.89 million in risk debt provided by Shard Credit Partners.
PassFort tells TechCrunch that it now has 54 total customers, and says most are in the digital payments space. It is also selling its SaaS to clients in forex, banking, and (ofc) crypto. He also touts some “big” customer wins before this increase: checking out names like Curve and WorldRemit.
The new funding will go towards accelerating its growth globally, and PassFort noted that it hired a new C-suite for its growth team to lead the planned global momentum.
It is also hiring more staff in business development and marketing, and plans to significantly increase spending on the marketing, sales, and customer service functions as it prepares to scale.
“On the product side, we are developing the solution to meet the demands of the changing digital economy and the threats it faces,” says CEO and co-founder Donald Gillies. “This means investing heavily in our new cloud compliance policy, system-to-system integrations with CRM and market-leading transaction monitoring systems, as well as building a data team capable of obtaining valuable information in real time through of our customer network “.
PassFort says their revenue grew ~ 2.5 times over the past 12 months.
Gillies credits COVID-19 with really hitting the digital “accelerator” and driving the adoption of compliance tools as fintechs and regulated companies seek to optimize their approach to customer onboarding and risk monitoring.
Along with this accelerating digital transformation, it also signals an increase in cybercrime and increasingly sophisticated financial crime driving demand for compliance tools, and a “huge” increase in the number of regulations announced since COVID-19, noting : “Estimates from those monitoring regulatory changes stated that by August 2020, regulators had made more than 1,330 regulatory announcements related to COVID-19 globally.”
In addition to offering an “always-on risk image,” as PassFort marketing expresses it, the platform offers a single place to access and manage customer profiles, while centralizing records for auditing purposes.
PassFort’s SaaS also tracks efficiency, helping clients see where delays could be in the onboarding process, to help with the customer experience and the broader support it offers to compliance teams.
The startup says its integration model is such that it can “ingest data sets from any vendor and interoperate with any system,” so, for example, it has pre-built connectors for more than 25 data providers at this stage.
It also offers a single API to integrate with the customer’s existing back-office system.
Another feature of the SaaS that he points out is a focus on “low or no code”, to increase accessibility and help customers with high complexity in their compliance needs (such as multiple customer types, multiple product lines, and multiple jurisdictions. Smart policy builder with a drag-and-drop interface to help customers configure complex workflows.
On the competitive side, PassFort names Dublin-based Fenergo as its closest competitor, but says it is targeting a broader market, comparing its own product to ‘Salesforce for Compliance Teams’ and saying it aims to put SaaS in the hands of “every crime and compliance team in the world.”
Commenting in a statement, Charles Chen, Partner at Level Equity, who now joins PassFort’s board of directors, added: “In recent years, financial institutions and organizations have seen exponential growth in business volumes and data, which has only increased the complexity in complying with ever-evolving regulatory laws. In parallel, we have seen an unprecedented increase in sophisticated financial crime activity as channels to financial systems are digitized.
“This has underscored the importance of compliance issues like AML / KYC, yet companies often have to weigh the tradeoffs between speed, compliance and automation. PassFort has solved this challenge by providing a next-generation RegTech software solution that enables customers to deliver a seamless integration experience, maintain the best monitoring capabilities, and balance automation versus the human touch through its intelligent orchestration engine. We are delighted to partner with the industry thought leader in this space and look forward to supporting the company’s future growth initiatives. “