Regtech Company ClauseMatch Raises $5m in Series A Round Led by Index Ventures

ClauseMatch Press Release Logos.JPG

Talis Capital is pleased to announce its involvement in the $5m Series A fundraising for ClauseMatch, a RegTech start-up that aims to automate the entire regulatory lifecycle to help companies ensure compliance. ClauseMatch works with the world’s leading financial institutions, legal firms and corporates.
 
The investment round was led by Index Ventures and included participation from previous investors including SpeedInvest. The round also involves investment from high-profile angels Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, and Cristobal Conde, former CEO of Sungard.
 
The funding will be used to continue to rapidly scale-up and accelerate development of the product.
 
Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis Capital: "ClauseMatch has created, and are delivering, a revolutionary and efficient solution to processes that compliance and regulation have unfortunately made burdensome for large and small companies alike. ClauseMatch has achieved tremendous traction already, and we are very excited to be supporting them in this next stage.
 
"Our goal is to create a compliance platform that is fully automated, smooth and effortless, that enables people responsible for compliance to be more proactive and strategic, and that increases full transparency and the state of compliance across the board. Equally, we are aiming to bring regulators to the table so that both sides of financial services are connected,” said Evgeny Likhoded, ClauseMatch CEO and co-founder.

ClauseMatch Team Pic.jpg

LONDON, April 25, 2018 -- ClauseMatch, the RegTech startup that aims to automate the entire regulatory lifecycle to help companies ensure compliance, has announced a Series A investment of $5 million led by Index Ventures joined by Talis Capital and with participation from previous investors, including SpeedInvest. The round also involves investment from high-profile angels Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, and Cristobal Conde, former CEO of Sungard. The funding will be used to continue to rapidly scale-up and accelerate development of the product.

Compliance, legal, finance, operations and risk departments use ClauseMatch to help automate impact assessments, streamline the implementation of regulatory change and to collaborate effectively on thousands of documents across the entire organisation. ClauseMatch applies deep understanding of the regulatory lifecycle and machine learning to standardise and automate processes and workflows across teams, reducing costs, speeding up implementation and demonstrating compliance to regulators. Comprehensive audit trail delivers accountability, transparency and assurance into readiness for the next review of current governance documentation, internal controls and their links to the applicable regulations.

ClauseMatch works with the world’s leading financial institutions, legal firms and corporates including Barclays following the time at Barclays Accelerator Program, and Intesa San Paolo. ClauseMatch is also being tested as part of the third cohort of companies in the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) Regulatory Sandbox supporting a top-tier bank with its technology.

"Since their graduation from the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, in 2014, our relationship with ClauseMatch has grown from strength to strength. Thanks to features such as a full audit trail, in-built governance, and centralised access, we’ve found ClauseMatch to be really useful for high-risk internal documentation, which is why they are now mandated for all global policies and standards across the Barclays Group. We’re very proud to have come on this journey with them, and look forward to growing with them in the future.”- Steven Burman, Managing Director, Compliance Operations and Controls at Barclays, commented. 

With 800 regulators globally, the regulatory burden on financial services companies is already great. Global banks currently spend 20 per cent of their operating costs on compliance and employ thousands of people dedicated to managing the processes manually. These costs are expected to double by 2022, according to some estimates. Even with all their compliance efforts, companies still get fined for non-compliance because of a lack of a centralised policy framework and poor conduc.

"Our goal is to create a compliance platform that is fully automated, smooth and effortless, that enables people responsible for compliance to be more proactive and strategic, and that increases full transparency and the state of compliance across the board. Equally, we are aiming to bring regulators to the table so that both sides of financial services are connected,” said Evgeny Likhoded, ClauseMatch CEO and co-founder.

Jan Hammer, Partner at Index Ventures added: "The regulatory system is broken. Regulators don’t have a full view of how regulation impacts the industry, over-regulating as a result, whilst companies struggle to keep up and stay compliant. We believe ClauseMatch can make the entire regulatory ecosystem function much better for both the regulated and the regulator, by providing new, simple to use tools replacing outdated document management and word processing software.”

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis Capital supported this with: "ClauseMatch has created, and are delivering, a revolutionary and efficient solution to processes that compliance and regulation have unfortunately made burdensome for large and small companies alike. ClauseMatch has achieved tremendous traction already, and we are very excited to be supporting them in this next stage.”

 

Media contact: 

ClauseMatch
Anna Antimiichuk
anna@clausematch.com  
+447408812657

Talis Capital
Charles Harrison
Charles.harrison@smithfieldgroup.com
+447884136143
 

About ClauseMatch
ClauseMatch is a collaboration platform that applies machine learning to help compliance, legal, finance, operations and risk departments automate impact assessment and collaborate effectively throughout the entire implementation process. It ensures compliance, reduces costs, demonstrates compliance to regulators and speeds up implementation.
For more information, go to www.clausematch.com.

About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a London and San Francisco-based international venture capital firm that helps the most ambitious entrepreneurs turn bold ideas into transformative global businesses. Index supports companies across all stages, from seed to venture to growth. Index-backed companies include Adyen, Deliveroo, Dropbox, Farfetch, Funding Circle, Slack and Supercell.
To learn more about the Index, visit www.indexventures.com.

About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has an outstanding returns track record. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, Luminance, Pirate Studios - among many others.
For more information, visit www.taliscapital.com.

Portfolio Update - 13.04.2018

eporta have raised a $8m Series A round, supported by Talis, to double their team and expand overseas after securing an impressive 10,000 buyer customer base including Hilton Hotel Group, Accenture and Ted Baker.

 

Pirate Studios have announced the 30 finalists for their Pirate Prodigy Programme, narrowed down from over 2,000 applications, which has proven to be immensely popular with over 70,000 votes cast for UK emerging music talent.

 

Beyond, the UK's leading end-of-life services platform, publicly challenged FTSE 250 incumbent Dignity's excessive pricing model and made a bold bet by shorting their stock. Since their short sale announcement, Dignity's share price has now more than halved.

 

Onfido hosted a roundtable discussion with ID verification industry leaders regarding the difficult task of meeting data privacy requirements without compromising end user experience, and expected trends following the upcoming implementation of GDPR.

 

Interiors marketplace eporta raises $8M Series A Round

In this day and age of higher expectation in offices, sourcing your furniture from Ikea  no longer cuts the proverbial mustard. But the furniture industry is notoriously old fashioned, forcing buyers to leaf through hundreds of paper catalogues, most of which are outdated by the time you get around to ordering. The global design and furniture industry is worth $700 billion, and yet most of its processes for customers are stuck in a previous age. Wouldn’t it be better if someone digitised those manufacturer catalogues, and allowed you to order direct, cutting out the middle-men?

This is what eporta is. This London-based B2B interior marketplace startup, has now raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by US investor Canvas Ventures. It also includes venture capitalists LocalGlobe, Oxford Capital Partners, Talis Capital, Samos Ventures, as well as angel investors Guy Hands, Ed Wray (co-founder, Betfair), Rohan Blacker (founder, sofa.com), Simon Kain (co-founder of Zoopla) and Will Cooper (founder, Achica.com).

Founded in 2015, eporta allows interior designers, architects, property developers, offices and other businesses to find and purchase furniture pieces directly from manufacturers around the world online. The Hilton Hotel Group, Accenture,  Ted Baker, and Charlotte Tilbury are included amongst its clients.

Eporta lists over 1,000 sellers in 55 countries and over 10,000 buyers in 85 countries. The idea is that companies that purchase items on eporta can expect to save up to 50% off retail pricing. eporta’s revenue model enables suppliers to pay a low commission to utilise the platform. The service is free for buyers to sign up to, with best pricing guaranteed.

The startup was founded by Manchester-born and Oxford University-educated Aneeqa Khan who previously led strategy at property marketplace Zoopla  and oversaw its £919 million IPO in June 2014. Her technical cofounder is Simon Shillaker, a friend from university.

Khan said: “Our manufacturer base is now the largest global database of manufacturers online for trade.” And she says small interior designers can use the service, as well as larger businesses. “If you are someone who has a project — it could be a commercial project or a residential project — if you’re using eporta you’re going to find the best pieces and you’re going to have more selection than you would do anywhere else in the world.”

Recent projects include a large office fit-out for Accenture (where they worked with Studio Jenny Jones interior design practise), the start-up make-up brand Charlotte Tilbury who worked with them to fit out their new space, and Ted Baker’s property development arm on a range of projects.

 

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/10/interiors-marketplace-eporta-raises-8m-led-by-canvas-ventures/

Portfolio Update - 28.03.2018

Darktrace have detected mass clandestine cryptomining operations, with up to 55% of all global organisations estimated to be affected, after uncovering a hidden cryptomining side business operating under the floorboards of a European bank's data center.

 

Onfido represented London in an interview with the World Economic Forum where they defended London as the fintech capital of the world due to its strong spirit of collaboration between regulators and start-ups, rich tech talent pool, and extensive network opportunities.

 

CensorNet have launched their new USS solution, combining patented smart user authentication with sophisticated threat protection, after being named in Gartner's first ever Magic Quadrant for Cloud Application Service Brokers.

 

Portfolio Update - 15.03.2018

iwoca have promised to provide £100m business loans to SMEs in North England by 2020 as part of their ongoing efforts to support the Northern Powerhouse, and continue to achieve impressive traction with over 45,000 transactions completed since 2012.

Second Home have announced their upcoming Clerkenwell site, due to open in Autumn, which will cater primarily to their extensive corporate client base including Ernst & Young, Volkswagen and Santander.

 

Pass the Keys, the UK’s leading AirBnB rental management provider, discuss how property owners can take advantage of the rapidly growing short-term property rental market to maximise their rental returns.

 

Talis Capital is Hiring

After a record number of investments in 2017 and a huge growth year for Talis’ portfolio, the team is looking to bring on board a new Associate. As Talis continues to increase its AUM and number of investments in its portfolio, the team now needs additional resource to help execute new investments and manage the portfolio.

Talis Capital is an early-stage VC (Series A & B focus) that supports industry-changing and leading technology companies. Talis’ portfolio includes some of the most exciting European start-ups such as Darktrace (led Series A), Onfido (Series B & C), iwoca (sole Seed) and Pirate Studios (incubated, sole Seed & Series A) - as well as sort-after early-stage companies including Luminance and Price f/x. Talis closed over $400m of deals since 2009 and mostly leads 5-10 new investments per year, on top of number of follow-ons from their existing 40+ growing portfolio.   

The Talis team identifies and invests in both technology and tech-leveraged real businesses and has a unique perspective from its hybrid approach to private equity & venture capital. Talis only supports sustainable business models with high calibre founding teams and has a sharp focus on a handful of B2B themes (including AI leveraged cyber security, financial services, insurance-tech, prop-tech and IoT).

At Talis we also incubate / build own companies. Pirate Studios, Skwire & Learning People are just some of them and the Associate will have hands on entrepreneurial experience building these or new companies.

Associate Position

We are looking for a talented individual to join Talis where you will; gain great exposure to the European and US tech ecosystem, meet exiting new start-ups, track some of the fastest growing tech companies and work side-by-side with the Partners to find new opportunities and execute on them from origination to close.

You will

  • Take a leading role in investing and managing venture investments (typical investments range from £1-10m from Series A-B
  • Responsible for identifying investment opportunities, preparing investment recommendations, taking meetings, undertaking extensive due diligence and financial modelling
  • Contribute to all aspects of deal flow, from own initiative sourcing to initial evaluation of potential investments to assisting with deal execution and closing.
  • Provide detailed company and sector research and analysis.
  • Monitor post-investment activities such as keeping up-to-date on portfolio performance
  • Board representations experience
  • Conduct research for marketing, deal sourcing and fund raising

Qualifications

  • Graduated from a top tier university
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience in a relevant industry (Investment Banking, Investment Consulting, M&A/Corporate Finance, Private Equity, Venture Capital).
  • Solid financial and business modelling skills
  • Great presentational skills
  • A self-starter.
  • Good transactional experience.
  • Strong analytical abilities.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently & in a start-up environment.
  • Keen interest in technology and start-ups.

Benefits

  • You will be joining a dynamic and entrepreneurial team, friendly and non-hierarchical.
  • You will get a chance to interact with the most exciting technology entrepreneurs, companies and investors, and be at the forefront of tech innovation
  • You will get a chance to attend technology conferences and start-up networking events
  • Free personal trainer team sessions 3x a week at midday
  • Team offsites 2x a year (latest were ski trip in Megeve chalet and villa in Ibiza)
  • Market competitive salary and bonus.
  • Fast track carry opportunity for the right candidates.

Apply for the job by sending a cover letter and your CV to info@taliscapital.com

 

Portfolio Update - 21.02.2018

Pirate Studios hosted Kerrang!’s Band Practice series at their London Studios in Earlsfield to promote one of the UK’s leading independent artists – Dead! The collaboration has already hit over 26,000 views on Pirate’s Facebook page, and has been shared to Kerrang!’s 920,000 weekly listeners.

They have also just launched their Pirate Prodigy Programme to support their 20,000 musician community by giving three bands the opportunity to partner with leading music publishers and radio executives including the BBC, Radio X and Sound City. Winning bands will also benefit from unlimited free use of Pirate’s rehearsal facilities, extensive promotion across social media, and one-to-one mentoring from industry professionals. 

     

 

 

Darktrace have been recognised in Fast Company’s “2018 World’s Most Innovative Companies” list alongside leading technology enterprises including Apple, Amazon and Spotify. This joins their long list of over 75 awards as they continue to expand across multiple sectors with clients including Drax, the UK's largest power supplier, and accounting giant Grant Thornton.

     

 

 

Luminance have expanded to Singapore after securing three of its Big Four law firms, and continue to gain traction after signing with Bird & Bird, a leading global law firm with over 1,200 lawyers. This marks an impressive achievement for Luminance who have now cemented their presence in APAC and completed over 200 global live transactions since their launch earlier in November 2016.

     

 

 

Homelyfe have launched their new Home & Contents insurance offering to simplify the home insurance process by only asking customers four simple questions compared to the current system where only 4% of buyers are able to accurately answer the typical dozens of required questions in one sitting.

Portfolio Update - 30.01.2018

Onfido, following their success in 2017, were invited to speak again at the World Economic Forum alongside the World Bank. They have also partnered with PushDoctor, the UK's leading online doctor consultancy service, to verify 100,000 patients. 

 

Second Home have built an impressive community where start-ups collaborate with global enterprises including KPMG and Volkswagen, resulting in teams at Second Home growing 10 times faster than the UK national average.

 

Price f(x) have had their most successful year to date after closing their largest recorded deal, doubling their customer base, expanding operations to APAC and North America, and raising $8.3 million additional funding ahead of their planned 2018 round.

Portfolio Update - 12.01.2018

Darktrace have partnered with AIG to identify client vulnerabilities for their cyberinsurance analysis, and have been named on CB Insights' 2018 "AI 100" list as one of the top 100 global AI firm. 

 

Luminance have leveraged their multi-lingual platform to secure a contract with Araoz & Rueda, a leading Spanish law firm operating in more than 30 countries, and are on track to repeat their strong 2017 performance as they expand throughout America.

 

Onfido had an impressive performance in 2017 including raising a $30m Series C round co-led by Microsoft Ventures, showcasing their ID verification solution to 10,000 attendees at Salesforce's annual conference, and achieving 550% US sales growth.

Talis Capital & Credo Ventures lead more funding for Price f(x)

Talis Capital is pleased to announce that it has co-led an additional funding round along with Credo Ventures into leading price management, optimization and CPQ SaaS provider, Price f(x).

Price f(x) has now raised a total of $8.3 million on the back of its most successful year, having doubled the number of customers it serves. Price f(x) has also successfully established a market presence in the US and Asia Pacific with new offices in Chicago, IL and Brisbane, Australia.

Managing Partner of Ventures at Talis Capital, Matus Maar, commented “Price f(x) has been a stand-out performer in Talis’ portfolio and we think there is a huge amount of potential within the team and technology to come. Price f(x) has demonstrated significant value to its clients through its innovative approach to price optimisation and CPQ. We can’t wait to see what the team achieves this year during a period of exciting international expansion."

Established in 2011 in Germany, Price f(x) AG provides a full suite price management and CPQ SaaS solution based on a native cloud architecture, offering broad and flexible support across the entire price management lifecycle, including Price Strategy, Controlling, Setting, Optimization, and Realization. The solution is suitable for B2B and B2C as well as any industry facing the classical but also particular pricing challenges of commercial organizations of any size and geographical location. Price f(x)’s vision is to become and stay the leading SaaS pricing and CPQ solution provider through offering easy to use, fast to implement, flexible to adapt, risk-free and inexpensive, comprehensive solutions. Price f(x)’s business model is entirely based on satisfaction and loyalty of their customers, not about signing long-term commitments.

Price f(x) co-founder and CEO Marcin Cichon stated: “This year’s strong performance reconfirms Price f(x)’s clear differentiation, unique value proposition, and vision to disrupt established industry players. The continuous financial and operational support of our investors makes us very proud and will allow Price f(x) to further expand our existing commercial operations in North America, Europe, and Asia, while better serving its rapidly expanding list of customers, both large and small.”

 

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on B2B technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has an outstanding returns track record. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, Luminance, Pirate Studios - among many others. For more information visit:  https://www.taliscapital.com/

Portfolio Update - 08.12.2017

Second Home have had a successful launch at Holland Park and have secured an impressive pipeline including a London Fields site due to open in 2018 alongside a 90,000 sq ft Hollywood site planned for 2019. 

 

CensorNet have been recognised as a market-leading Cybersecurity firm after being highlighted as the sole European HQ firm in Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Application Security Brokers.
 

 

Darktrace have had an outstanding performance during 2017 and have now secured over 3,750 clients including two of the four largest telecommunications companies in America.

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Talis Capital leads Luminance's $10m Series A round at $50m valuation

  • Series A fundraising successfully completed at a $50m valuation. The $10m investment was led by Talis Capital, and also included Invoke Capital and Slaughter and May.
  • Luminance technology has been deployed in hundreds of M&A transactions worldwide, in over 50 leading organisations, across 15 countries in five continents since launching in September 2016.
  •   North American headquarters in Chicago is a response to high demand from North American clients, including AM Law 100 firms.

29 November 2017, London and Chicago – Luminance, the leading artificial intelligence platform for the legal profession, has closed a $10m Series A funding round that values the company at $50 million. The investment was led by Talis Capital, and also included Invoke Capital and Slaughter and May. Luminance will use the funds to expand its operations to meet increasing global demand, including supporting its newly-established North American headquarters in Chicago.

Luminance, which has been deployed in over 50 leading organisations worldwide, is a self-learning AI platform for the legal profession which accelerates and enhances contract review processes such as M&A due diligence and property lease review. The technology has been used to assist with over 200 live transactions to date. In response to strong demand Luminance has seen almost fourfold employee growth within one year.

“We look forward to using this new investment round to ensure we deliver on the excitement building around Luminance, as well as continue to grow our relationship with existing top-tier customers across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the U.S.” said Emily Foges, Luminance CEO. “Just one year after launch, Luminance has already proven its value with leading law firms globally. We’re excited to boost our operations across the Atlantic with the opening of our Chicago office, and to continue to bring legal innovation to new markets around the world.”

Sally Wokes, a partner at Slaughter and May, said: “Slaughter and May has worked closely with the Luminance team since the product’s inception. The knowledge we have gained through piloting, testing and using the software on live transactions gives us real confidence in what we consider to be a highly differentiated due diligence tool. Our decision to invest in this latest funding round reflects our belief in Luminance and our commitment to harnessing innovation for the benefit of our clients.”

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Talis Capital, added, “We have seen technology integration within the legal sector, in particular that based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, transition from a support function to an enabler and efficiency-driver, allowing lawyers to focus on real added value to clients. Since launching investment last year, we have seen Luminance truly lead the competition in this regard and we are excited to be a part of their growth and continue our support.”

Using a unique combination of supervised and unsupervised machine learning, Luminance reads and understands vast quantities of legal documents at speeds no human can match. Moving well beyond legacy contract review software, Luminance automatically sorts and classifies contracts to uncover even subtle risks at the outset of a project. Combined with in-built, sophisticated collaboration tools, lawyers can increase the efficiency of their review by over 100% without sacrificing accuracy.

U.S. Managing Director George T. Tziahanas will be responsible for meeting the needs of firms adopting Luminance’s contract-understanding technology in the region, while building out the Chicago-based team to over 10 by year end.

“My top priority is to hire an impressive team in Chicago to drive growth and serve our great clients,” said George Tziahanas. “Throughout my career, I have witnessed legal teams challenged with analysing large sets of complex information. Luminance is the only technology that can keep pace with modern legal needs, thanks to its unique ability to adapt to a firm’s specialties and expertise, with no training required. Chicago’s status as major financial, scientific, and legal hub made it the obvious choice for our first US office.”

Luminance, developed from Ph.D. research at the University of Cambridge, launched in September 2016 and has customers in 15 countries, including Slaughter and May (UK), Gilbert + Tobin (Australia), WongPartnership (Singapore) and Chapman Tripp (New Zealand). The company was recently recognised for Horizontal Innovation by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London, and also won ‘Best AI Product in Legal’ at the inaugural CogX AI Innovation Awards.

 

For more information about Luminance, please contact:

Brunswick Group: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

About Luminance

Luminance is the leading artificial intelligence platform for lawyers which uses machine learning to read and analyse contracts and other documents much like a human does, thus improving the efficiency of processes such as due diligence. Deploying some of the latest breakthroughs in pattern recognition and machine intelligence from the University of Cambridge, and trained by legal experts, Luminance understands and can highlight anomalies among large groups of documents so that lawyers can prioritise their work. The company is backed by Invoke Capital, an investment fund dedicated to unlocking the potential of European technology.

About Talis Capital

Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on B2B technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has a strong track record of investments. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, - among many others. For more information visit: https://www.taliscapital.com/

George T. Tziahanas biography:

George Tziahanas was appointed as U.S. Managing Director of Luminance in October 2017. In this role, he will be responsible for growing Luminance’s North American business and the Chicago hub’s staff and operations. A qualified lawyer and graduate of DePaul University, Tziahanas has held leadership positions across several global technology companies, including Intel, Autonomy and Hewlett Packard. His prior experience includes roles in software as a service (SaaS) strategy and implementation and consulting to the legal sector.

Portfolio Update - 24.11.2017

Onfido have been selected as the first ID verification provider for Salesforce's Financial Services Cloud where they will enable financial institutions to easily verify and onboard new customers. 

 

 

Shirley Chen, Founder & CEO of Narrativ, has been named in "Forbes 30 Under 30" following her impressive background where she acted as Head of Marketing at Moda Operandi before founding Narrativ, an advertising technology start-up which now handles 4.3 trillion monthly requests.
 

 

Luminance have won British Legal Technology Awards' "New IT Product of the Year" for their market-leading platform which continues to attract new clients including Chapman Tripp, New Zealand's largest full-service commercial law firm.

Portfolio Update - 09.11.2017

iwoca have joined LinkedIn's Top 25 Start-ups List, alongside Uber, Deliveroo and AirBnB, and have now lent over £260m to date since their launch at the end of 2012. 

 

 

Luminance have partnered with TRUST, a leading Finnish law firm, and are now live across 15 countries with over 150 completed transactions since their launch in September 2016.
 

 

Pass the Keys, the UK's largest AirBnB property manager, have launched in York and Glasgow ahead of their planned international expansion in 2018.

Portfolio Update - 27.10.2017

Talis co-led the £2.4m seed round of Homelyfe, an insurance-tech start-up helping homeowners to manage all of their insurance requirements through a single app.

 

Second Home expect to launch their London Fields site, designed tor working parents with plans for a fully staffed crèche, in early 2018. They are also aiming to invest over €10m to launch their second Lisbon site after achieving near-full occupancy at their original site.
 

 

Onfido, a leading ID verification start-up, have raised over $60m since their launch in 2012 and are planning to help provide banking access for the two billion unbanked individuals currently excluded from the financial sector.  

Portfolio update - 13.10.2017

Talis participated in PremFina's $36m fundraising round to disrupt the insurance sector alongside world-renowned co-investors including Japanese e-commerce enterprise Rakuten, investment management giant Draper Espirit, and Thomvest, the Venture Capital arm of the Thomson Reuters family. 

 

 

Narrativ, a female-led start-up using AI to revolutionise content advertising, have been taking action to improve the under-representation of women in the technology sector.  
 

 

Pirate Studios, the UK's largest music rehearsal studio provider, have developed their own live-streaming service which is gaining traction with popular independent artists.

UK Insurtech Company Premfina Raises $36m To Make Insurance More Accessible, In An Oversubscribed Round Led By Rakuten Capital And Draper Esprit

  • UK insurance premium financing and software company PremFina raises $36M in equity and debt
  • The funds will strengthen PremFina’s expansion into new global markets and meet high demand in the UK
  • PremFina is fully regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

London, UK: PremFina Ltd, a UK-based company that increases access to insurance by providing financing options for the purchase of insurance premiums, today announced US$36 million in equity funding and a debt facility. Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Japan’s Rakuten, a global leader in e-commerce and fintech services and the main global partner of FC Barcelona and the UK’s Draper Esprit Plc led the financing, and were joined by global investors Thomvest Ventures, Emery Capital, Rubicon Venture Capital, Talis Capital and the company’s founder.
 
PremFina is the first premium finance company in the UK to receive venture funding, with the equity portion of round more than three times oversubscribed. The investment will be used to accelerate PremFina’s UK operations to meet a high demand for its white-label premium financing solution among insurance brokers and support international expansion. Its white label offering improves brokers’ efficiency, profitability and customer relationships.
 
PremFina makes the purchase of insurance more affordable by eliminating the financial strain of lump-sum upfront payments, thereby promoting financial inclusion within the insurance industry. Its solution is simple and user-friendly: PremFina funds the upfront payment of an insurance premium to an insurer, on behalf on an insured party. PremFina then collects the same amount via monthly instalments, along with a finance fee, from the insured party. To better enable insurance brokers to offer this option, PremFina also provides a standalone, white-labelled software-as-a-service (SaaS).
 
“The participation of outstanding investors from Toronto to Tokyo in our oversubscribed round highlights the vast opportunity ahead for PremFina, ” said Bundeep Singh Rangar, CEO and founder of PremFina, who invested in 17% of the equity portion alongside the institutional investors. “Our new investors bring great strategic value and priceless global financial relationships.”
 
“Premium financing is an industry that’s been crying out for innovation. The incumbents have remained largely unchallenged due to age-old barriers to entry, such as the lack of funding for insurance start-ups, costs and time of regulatory compliance and significant investment in technological capability needed to meaningfully enter the market. Consequently, insurtech has lagged behind other areas of fintech in terms of innovation. PremFina has overcome these barriers and is now poised for growth,” Rangar added.
 
“Rakuten sees outstanding growth potential in PremFina’s business model of promoting insurance inclusion and providing access to affordable insurance,” said Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Managing Partner at Rakuten Capital. “We are excited to support the growth of PremFina’s innovative business in the UK and internationally.”
 
“PremFina has built a strong SaaS revenue model with excellent growth opportunities,“ said Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit. “With its innovative offering increasing efficiency in the insurance industry model, PremFina ticks all the insurtech boxes. We are excited to help them dominate the market in the next few years.”
 
The equity round was led by Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Rakuten, Inc., a global innovation company and Japan's leader in e-commerce and fintech services that has invested in ride-sharing companies Lyft, Cabify and Careem as well as app-based micro-investor Acorns and online lending companies Upstart and Kreditech.
 
The round was co-led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper’s UK affiliate Draper Esprit. California-based Draper was an early investor in telecoms company Skype, electric carmaker Tesla, rocket company SpaceX, Chinese search engine Baidu and email provider Hotmail.
 
Thomvest Ventures, an early investor in peer-to-peer lender LendingClub, small business lender Kabbage, and student finance provider Social Finance, Inc., joined PremFina’s equity round.  Thomvest augmented its PremFina investment with a credit facility to fund PremFina premium finance agreements.
 
Worldwide insurance penetration, measured as the percentage of gross written premiums against a country’s GDP, dropped 1.3% to 6.2% from 7.5% in the decade to 2015, according to London-based professional services firm EY. This drop occurred even as governments in many countries announced financial inclusion to be a key national policy objective. PremFina aims to reverse this trend by making personal and commercial insurance more affordable worldwide.

 
For further information please contact:
 
Karolina Komarnicka
Marketing Associate
+44 (0) 207 745 6216
Karolina.Komarnicka@PremFina.com
 
Ben Goldsmith
Goldsmith Communications Ltd
+44 (0)7788295321
ben@goldsmithcomms.com
 
About PremFina Limited
 
PremFina is a UK-based premium finance company. It supplies insurance brokers with their own branded premium financing service with a software package to manage the sale of broker-branded insurance policies to consumers and businesses, and the ability to finance insurance premiums via instalments. With PremFina, brokers receive higher profit, greater autonomy and opportunity to increase the lifetime value of their customers as well as the chance to cross-sell and up-sell additional products. For more information visit: www.premfina.com
 
About Rakuten Capital
 
Rakuten Capital is a corporate venture capital group that provides funding, sector experience and operational support to its portfolio companies across the world. Rakuten Capital is part of the Rakuten Group, one of the world’s leading internet service companies. Rakuten has built and invested in innovative internet businesses in e-commerce, financial services, digital content and advertising since 1997. Rakuten is ranked as one of “Top 30 Most Innovative Companies” by Forbes and operates in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The company is headquartered in Tokyo and is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
For more information visit: https://captial.rakuten.com
 
About Draper Esprit Plc
 
Draper Esprit was founded in 2006, and is one of the largest and most active VC firms in Europe, helping entrepreneurs to build global ground-breaking technology companies. In 2016 it moved its primary funds into a listed PLC model (LSE: GROW.L) in order to take a longer term, multi-stage, patient capital approach. In recent years, Draper Esprit’s exits have generated more than $3 billion in combined enterprise value.
For more information visit: http://www.draperesprit.com/
 
About Thomvest Ventures
 
Thomvest Ventures is a venture capital firm committed to the success of our entrepreneur partners. Thomvest makes investments in companies that leverage disruptive technologies and business models to pursue high-growth opportunities in the security, fintech, and adtech markets. The capital we invest is our own, enabling us to be more creative, flexible, strategic and patient than most investors. It takes time to build great companies and Thomvest is committed to supporting its entrepreneurs throughout their journey. To learn more about Thomvest Ventures, please visit us at www.thomvest.com.
 
About Emery Capital
 
Emery Capital is a venture capital management company that invests in global-focused early stage technological startups. The company invests in the companies that transform industries, bringing new technologies, high-tech solutions, and business models.
For more information visit: emery.capital/
 
About Rubicon Venture Capital
 
Rubicon Venture Capital combines a VC fund with a unique global community of value added investors to build lasting technology companies. Their investors are mainly successful entrepreneurs and executives located in key cities around the world. They invest in Later Stage Seed and Series A & B venture capital financing rounds of high potential early stage disruptive technology companies.
For more information visit: rubicon.vc/
 
About Talis Capital Ltd
 
Talis Capital is a London based venture capital firm, focused on B2B technology companies within three key areas: Security, Business Intelligence/SaaS and Financial Services. Talis Capital has completed over $380m of transactions since 2009 and has a strong track record of investments. Talis has made over 30 venture investments and count some of the fastest growing tech start-ups in its portfolio – Darktrace, Onfido, Iwoca, - among many others.
For more information visit: https://www.taliscapital.com/

 

Portfolio Update - 29.09.2017

Onfido, a leading ID verification start-up, have raised a £22m Series C round co-led by Microsoft Ventures. After increasing their revenue fivefold during 2016, Onfido now cater to 1,500 clients and have been highlighted by CB Insights as a RegTech sector market leader.

Pass the Keys, the UK's largest AirBnB property manager, have held their second fundraising round led by Talis Capital and are now planning to expand internationally in 2018.

 

Reevoo have partnered with Atom Bank, a digital banking platform backed by the British Business Bank, to provide independent reviews on Atom's mortgage and fixed saver account products.

 

Onfido raises $30M more for its AI-based identity verification technology

Malicious hackers and security breaches that have exposed personal information of millions of people have pushed the issue of online security into the spotlight, not just for individuals but for organizations that do business with them. Now a company called Onfido, which has built a way to help websites verify people’s identities using a photo-based identity document, a selfie and artificial intelligence algorithms, has raised $30 million to seize the opportunity.

This brings the total raised by Onfido, which is based out of London, to around $60 million. This latest round was led by new investor Crane Venture Partners (whose co-founder Scott Sage had already been an advisor to Onfido), with participation also from Microsoft Ventures in its first European investment, Salesforce Ventures and other unnamed but existing backers (it’s a long list).

Hussayn - Onfido CEO.jpg

Husayn Kassai, Onfido’s CEO (pictured, above) who co-founded the company with Eamon Jubbawy (now COO) and Ruhul Amin (chief architect), said Onfido is not disclosing its valuation in this round.

Onfido started life back in 2012 focusing on background checks, tapping into the surge of on-demand businesses that were rapidly scaling both their permanent staff and workforce of contractors — indeed that was the company’s bread and butter business when we covered their previous funding found in April 2016. It competed against the likes of Checkr in the U.S.

(And, it should be pointed out, among its customers was Uber, which had used Onfido in the past to run criminal background checks on drivers. Criminal checks have become one of the sticking points for the transportation giant in its current license dispute with London’s transport authority. More on that below.)

In the past year or so, Onfido has been gradually shifting its focus more to financial services and e-commerce, and specifically identity checks for businesses in these verticals. It currently has some 1,500 customers today including Square, Revolut and Zipcar.

As Kassai describes it, the challenge for banks, payment platforms and others is that they have a strong requirement to verify the identities of people with whom they do business (in part because of “Know Your Customer” regulations, but also because of the immense amount of fraud that has arisen in the last few years).

But on the other hand, running long or onerous checks when onboarding users — such as those from banks that require people to come into branches in person to prove they are who they say they are, or lengthy online verification techniques — often leads to a drop-off in interest.

“If you are a bank signing up new users, you expect a 40 percent drop-off rate because of the checks,” said Kassai. “Our solutions are geared at bringing that number down, especially in cases where a user might not have the right documents like utility bills, for example if they are new to a country.” 

Onfido does this with an interesting solution that is based on standard identity documents — it recognises some 600 formats right now, from drivers’ licenses from dozens of countries, to passports, to identity cards and so on — and a “selfie” on your phone.

As it was demonstrated to me in their offices — in a conference room called “Abagnale” (each room is named after a famous identity forger) — this isn’t a photo as such, but in fact a live picture of you. You then respond to instructions for two or three different actions, such as a blink, a smile, saying a sequence of numbers or looking over your shoulder.

Onfido takes your responses to these commands to check that you’re not using a static photo, and to compare your face in the selfie to the picture on the ID card, while also running the ID card check at the same time. Its algorithms then provide a risk report for you, noting if you come up as completely compatible, mostly so, or to flag when it appears that you are not who the document says you are. All the data is then passed on to the company requesting the checks, both “compatible” checks and those that are flagged for further checks.

This last point is key in Onfido’s business model: as Kassai explained it to me, the company runs checks but doesn’t process any more beyond that, leaving the liability of acting or not acting on the results to the company requesting the checks. (In the current situation with Uber, I’m guessing that one route Uber may choose to take in its defense is to raise questions about how the data was accurate enough in its background checks.)

Onfido currently has a strong team of AI engineers on staff, specialists in machine learning and computer vision, who are regularly tinkering with the company’s algorithms to make them more sophisticated and of course to become smarter by way of all the images the platform is processing.

“From our point of view, in Europe, Onfido is one of the leading data enterprise companies at the moment, and they are spending a lot of money right now to continue investing into tech and product, with one of the best machine learning teams that we have come across,” said Sage at Crane, pointing out that his firm normally invests at seed stage but made an exception in this case because of the strength of the startup.

Kassai notes that they are continuing to recruit but also acknowledges that it’s a tough market, with its engineers getting “at least one call a week” from a recruiter. It’s a sticky point that’s even making it hard to figure out where the company should move to next.

Currently situated in an office above the Covent Garden Underground station, London Transport wants to kick them out soon to covert the space into residential property, and Kassai is mostly worried about finding a location where his staff won’t be as poachable, but at the same time continue being located in London. 

Looking ahead, Onfido will continue to tap into the opportunity for solving ID verification in financial services. He says the startup’s revenues have grown five-fold in the last year but that he believes that 95 percent of the market is largely untapped when it comes to using newer technologies like Onfido’s. The company’s core focus is the U.K., U.S. and India and it plans to expand into Latin America, too. “There is huge fintech growth coming from Brazil and Mexico,” he said.

Beyond that, there are a number of other areas where the company hopes to apply its technology, and it’s talking to all the big names you might guess to help make it happen.

“We think the future for us is in new applications and new use cases rather than new features,” he said. “Look at voting, for making payments with your face. The main barrier in these has been really accurate facial recognition, but it won’t be in the future.”

 

Original Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/27/onfido-raises-30m-more-for-its-ai-based-identity-verification-technology/amp/