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Bleckwen Raises $10m and Appoints David Christie as CEO

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Bleckwen, a provider of real-time analytics software for fraud detection & prevention in payments, has come out of stealth to announce a $10 million first funding round. The funding will be used to support Bleckwen’s international expansion and the continued development of the company’s exciting software capabilities in AI-based fraud detection. The company’s expertise is strategically focused on the wider anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) context. Bleckwen recently spun-off from Ercom, the French cybersecurity firm. The round was led by Ring Capital, a Paris-based venture capital firm and existing investors, including TempoCap, Bpifrance and Ineo, alongside senior management.

Built with banks, for banks, Bleckwen’s real-time, dynamic behavioural analytics & explainable AI-engine is well placed to detect the surging fraud threats in payments, such as authorised push payment fraud or the “human hack” which is growing by circa 60% year-on-year, driven by the surge in real-time payment networks globally. The platform also protects banks from the emergent risks of open banking under PSD2, where banks will no longer have full control of the end-to-end user experience and security perimeter, presenting a completely new threat dimension.

Over the last year, the company has also strengthened its management team with the hire of David Christie, a 20-year veteran in financial services, previously the COO of Euronet’s money transfer business, which included the brands Ria, HiFX and XE. David is also Chairman of VitessePSP and investor in Shieldpay, bringing with him a wealth of experience implementing and operating both fraud and AML systems in payment businesses.

David is also joined by Matt Knowles, who was recently appointed Chairman of Bleckwen. Matt was previously CEO of HiFX, and together he and David successfully scaled HiFX into a world leading international payments company prior to its successful sale to Euronet.

David Christie, Bleckwen’s CEO, commented: “Nearly $4 trillion is stolen and laundered through banks annually – circa 3% of global GDP. Existing technologies are just not cutting it in the fight against this scourge of society. Something else needs to be done and at Bleckwen, we have made tremendous progress over the last two years as part of the Ercom Group, developing solutions to bring the fight to these criminals.”

“This fundraising is confirmation of our ‘scale-up readiness’ and the support from  Ring Capital and our existing investors is testament to our expertise in productising class-leading AI-based analytics in the fight against financial crime for banks. Using Bleckwen’s software, we are seeing false positive ratios drop by over 95%, the time taken to resolve alerts fall by over 50%, and a reduction in fraud loss ratios by over 60% – as compared with incumbent legacy-based rules systems.”

“Working very closely with our customers, which include a tier-1 global bank, we have developed a market-leading, payment-type agnostic, real-time capability to meet their fraud detection and prevention requirements at industrial scale. Bleckwen’s software can also dynamically adapt to ever-changing customer behaviours and profiles. We have also significantly strengthened our senior management team and operational infrastructure and will be opening offices in the UK and the US in 2019.”

Matt Knowles, TempoCap Partner and Bleckwen Chairman, commented: “Having co-founded and scaled an international payments company that processed $20 billion annually, I have extensive real-world experience of the challenges faced by both fintechs and banks in of the domain of fraud detection and AML. I have been deeply impressed by Bleckwen’s advanced use of machine learning technology to radically increase fraud detection over current solutions, but, as importantly, substantially reduce the volume of false positives (which build friction and cost into the customer journey). We see significant potential to commercialise this technology across banks, fintechs & other multi-national enterprises to help combat fraud and AML risk across all payment types.”

Nicolas Celier, co-founder of Ring capital, commented: “Bleckwen has appeared to us as the unique combination of state-of-the-art AI technology, built by a leading French data team, together with top international management with a solid track record of scaling up Fintech companies worldwide. Ring knew Bleckwen before the spin-off and has contributed to design this deal in order to help Bleckwen grow and scale.”

Thierry Sommelet, Managing Director at Bpifrance Growth Capital – Head of Technology, Media, Telecom, said: “Bleckwen is uniquely positioned to help the fast-moving payments ecosystem improve clients’ protection and transaction efficiency, thanks to a leading-edge AI technology and experienced management. We are very happy to see David Christie and Matt Knowles join this adventure, as well as Ring Capital. We are confident that they will collectively thrive in driving the company on its new phase of growth.”

Bleckwen was recently awarded Fintech of the year at the EBAday 2019, an event run by the Euro Banking Association – an expert-led forum for the European payments industry with nearly200 member banks. Selected out of a category of 16 other finalists, the company received the prestigious award based on the innovative and dynamic nature of its market-leading AI-powered platform.

 

SOURCE Bleckwen

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Credorax Partners With Cisco to Boost Payments Gateway to the Next Level

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Today, Credorax announced that it has partnered with Cisco to upgrade its data-center network’s capabilities, capacity and latency. The agreement enables Credorax to adopt Cisco’s advanced data-center networking technology, including an automation, visibility and management system. Credorax has also agreed to beta-test Cisco’s advanced and future monitoring and management products.

Credorax’s system is already considered one of the fastest in the world with its cutting-edge high throughput, low latency, and multi-continent redundancy, and Cisco’s technology will allow Credorax to push the envelope even further in terms of decreasing transaction latency and increasing throughput. Cisco’s software solution for centralized management and monitoring of network components will play a significant role in Credorax’s solutions, simplify their roll-out of new products and reduce ongoing cost of ownership.

As a licensed merchant acquiring bank, Credorax helps merchants accept payments easily with its recently launched Source gateway. The platform offers telecom-grade (99.999%) availability for processing payments as well as a host of payments products and services, including cards and alternative payment methods, hosted payment pages, advanced KYC screening, smart fraud solutions, and sophisticated business intelligence and data tools.

Cisco is at the forefront in building the network platform that can now deliver a connected, autonomous, and programmable digital platform for Credorax customers.

Cisco-Israel General Manager, Oren Sagi said about the collaboration: “Cisco is committed to do its utmost to provide its customers with the most innovative technologies while maintaining uncompromising quality. We are excited to collaborate with Credorax and help them develop the fastest and most reliable payments gateway possible. I am confident that this project is the first milestone for a successful cooperation between the two companies.”

Moshe Selfin, Credorax CTO & COO stated: “We’re thrilled join forces with Cisco. We have always strived to provide best-class service to our customers, and are confident that by incorporating Cisco’s network platform for data capacity and processing speed into our NextGen payments and acquiring platform, we are offering our merchants the best technology on the market.”

In an era of demanding customers and changing expectations, e-commerce merchants simply can’t survive without the best-in-class cross-border payments processing capabilities. Being both a technology company and an acquiring bank, Credorax has built a full suite of NextGen products and services to help merchants grow their business online. And now with Cisco’s support, Credorax has augmented its offering even further.

 

SOURCE Credorax

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MetricStream Wins “GRC Product of the Year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards Hosted by Risk.net

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MetricStream, a market leader in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) apps and solutions, announced today that its Enterprise GRC Solution has been awarded the “GRC product of the year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards, hosted by Risk.net.

“We’re honored to win this award,” said Gaurav Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, MetricStream. “We believe that it validates the strength, breadth, and depth of our GRC/IRM offerings, as well as our focus on continuous innovation—reflected most prominently in our GRC cloud, advances in predictive analytics, automation, and AI. Our mission is to enable organizations to ‘Perform with Integrity™’. To that end, we’re deeply committed to forging long-term partnerships with our customers and supporting them throughout their integrated GRC journeys.”

The annual Risk.net awards recognize the need for innovative technology solutions to manage risk in a highly dynamic and complex business environment. The average financial services firm faces a plethora of risks, ranging from cyber threats and regulatory pressures, to fintech related disruptions and money laundering issues. As these risks grow more interconnected, siloed approaches to GRC are rapidly giving way to more integrated solutions.

The MetricStream Enterprise GRC platform provides a single, unified system to manage, coordinate, and track multiple types of GRC activities. The solution cuts across organizational silos, enabling a holistic and collaborative approach to GRC. Users can efficiently roll up operational risk, audit, compliance, Cyber and third-party risk information from across the enterprise, and transform it into actionable business intelligence to support decision-making. With support for mobility, real-time reporting, advanced risk analytics, and regulatory notifications, the MetricStream solution helps users manage complex risk requirements in an efficient manner.

Top industry analysts have consistently recognized MetricStream as a leader in GRC/IRM. The company’s wide range of solutions and underlying GRC platform are leveraged by leading financial services firms worldwide, including large global banks, mid-sized banks, private equity investors, investment banks, wealth managers, insurance firms, asset management companies, federal financial agencies, and clearing corporations.

 

SOURCE MetricStream

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MPOWER Financing rated Top international student lender by Nerdwallet and U.S. News

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MPOWER Financing, a mission-driven fintech that provides financial access to higher education for high-promise international and DACA students, was recognized by both Nerdwallet and U.S. News & World Report as the top student loan provider for international students.

Nerdwallet, a comparison website for personal finance products, awarded MPOWER a 5-star rating for its student loans, indicating that its products are “among the very best for consumer-friendly features.” Nerdwallet also commended MPOWER for offering loans that are “ideal for international and DACA students without a co-signer or U.S. credit history.” MPOWER’s loans are available to students from around the world for both graduate and undergraduate degrees at more than 350 top universities in the U.S.and Canada.

U.S. News & World Report recognized MPOWER Financing as the “best lender for international students.” This determination was made on the basis of MPOWER’s product offerings, cost, customer servicing ratings, eligibility, and other features. U.S. News also detailed that MPOWER’s underwriting process considers a student’s academic success and career path – a process that is enabled by MPOWER’s use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

“I was having a tough time obtaining education loans from India without collateral,” wrote Kaushik Krishnan, one of MPOWER’s early students. “MPOWER was truly life changing for me. I’ve since graduated from my Masters program, found a job, and paid off my loan.”

“MPOWER allowed me to achieve my dream,” said Sol Bee, a South Korean student. “I was admitted to Berkeley in Fall 2016, but I couldn’t afford it at the time. MPOWER empowered me to be who I wanted to be by allowing me to take control of my finances and my life.”

“We’re honored by the industry recognition we’ve received, and the hundreds of heartfelt stories we get from students whom we have the privilege to serve,” says Manu Smadja, Co-founder and CEO of MPOWER. “We’re working hard to further improve our customer experience and to remain the best international student lending product on the market.”

MPOWER Financing, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Bengaluru, New York City, and Toronto, is a mission-driven fintech company and provider of global educational loans. It is the only student lender in the world that leverages both overseas and domestic credit data, as well as future earning potential, to serve high-promise international and DACA students. MPOWER Financing works with over 350 top universities and colleges across the U.S. and Canada to provide financing to students from over 200 countries. Since 2014, it has received over $1B in loan application volume on its platform. MPOWER Financing helps students build their credit histories and provides them with personal finance education and career support to help prepare for life after school. The team is backed by Zephyr Management, Goal Structured Solutions, Gray Matters Capital, Lloyd Crescendo Advisors, 1776, Village Capital, Potentia, Breega, VARIV, DreamIt, Fresco, Chilango, Common Sense Fund, K Street, and University Ventures.

 

SOURCE MPOWER Financing

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