Anti-money laundering tech scaleup, First AML, has launched in the UK after experiencing increased demand for solutions that help businesses manage compliance requirements and the heightened risk of regulatory fines in today’s climate.
First AML recently announced its NZ$30m Series B funding round which included Headline Ventures’ European arm, Australia-based VC firm Blackbird Ventures, as well as existing investors, Pushpay founder Eliot Crowther, Bedrock Capital, and Icehouse Ventures.
First AML’s co-founder Bion Behdin is relocating to the company’s new London office, launching with 25 staff locally, including UK Country Manager Simon Luke. It has 100 employees based in Auckland, New Zealand, and 20 staff in Sydney, Australia. The company plans to recruit 100 UK staff by the end of 2022.
First AML CEO, Milan Cooper, says: “The market for AML has grown nearly 20% in the past year to US$214 billion – there is a massive global market opportunity for us right now. First AML’s customers love our solution and it’s proving to be the best approach to streamlining customer due diligence. With ground-breaking investigations around tax havens and money laundering across multiple countries, the AML compliance regime is a key priority for accounting, law and real estate.”
Commenting on the UK expansion, Behdin said: “We’re excited to offer regulatory technology built for reporting entities, removing the manual burden, and making compliance faster and more accurate. Regtech is usually aimed at the major banks. However, if we want our economy to grow, we have to help the next layer of financiers become more efficient, and to combat money laundering through law, accounting and real estate firms. And of course with the current focus on London as a Russian money-laundering hub, small to medium sized businesses need solutions to automate compliance with increasing regulation and threats.”
First AML automates the highly manual Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Customer Due Diligence/Know Your Customer (CDD/KYC) process. Its cloud-based platform, team of local compliance analysts and global pre-verified entity ecosystem, automates the traditional AML compliance process by taking it completely off the user’s hands. Data is also stored in a global, complex entity database, which allows for instant retrievals that is updated upon each request, delivering efficiency improvements and cost savings and a smoother customer experience for end users.
Australian venture capital firm Blackbird is using First AML, and business operations manager, Dan Danilov, says: “It’s reduced our AML case bottleneck, completely removing the burden of collecting and verifying AML documents, with an easy-to-use dashboard that tracks the status of all our cases. Many of our investors have reached out to let us know how much better the experience is.”
Behdin founded First AML in 2017 with his two co-founders, Milan Cooper and Chris Caigou, who were working as corporate bankers when the first phase of AML regulations were introduced for banks in 2013.