Anti-money laundering tech startup First AML has raised US$5.4 million in a Series A funding round led by US-based Bedrock Capital, with support from existing investors Pushpay founder Chris Heaslip and Icehouse Ventures.
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First AML’s regulatory technology (regtech) platform streamlines anti-money laundering (AML) compliance for the likes of financial service providers, law firms, real estate agencies and accountants. The company’s end-to-end Customer Due Diligence platform automates the identity verification of customers, giving companies complete visibility and management oversight of the process, minimising money laundering risk.
This is the first APAC investment for Bedrock Capital. Managing Partner Geoff Lewis, who spent five years at Silicon Valley-based Founders Fund before establishing Bedrock two years ago.
Commenting on the investment Lewis said: “Bedrock is delighted to lead one of the largest Series A financing rounds in New Zealand for First AML,” says Mr Lewis. “The company has built a unique technology solution that is upending profoundly antiquated AML compliance processes, while also delivering dramatic efficiency improvements and cost savings to customers. Led by a talented management team, we believe First AML is positioned for global impact over many years to come.”
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First AML co-founder Milan Cooper is excited by the opportunities the new investment affords: “Our plans to accelerate global market expansion and product development have just got a whole lot bigger. Interest from customers in countries like Australia and the US is heating up as businesses look to prepare for the new regulatory requirements, and we are now well placed to capture these opportunities and offer the world’s best AML compliance platform thanks to our new investment partners at Bedrock. This is a $184 billion global market – there’s massive opportunity out there.”
The Patriot Act requires US financial institutions and other obliged entities to implement AML/KYC processes. As in other jurisdictions this creates a significant compliance cost for financial institutions and results in a poor on-boarding experience for their customers.
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.”
A new release of First AML’s platform is scheduled for later this month, which will include improved biometric identification for remote verification and new visual tools to help users understand the ownership of complex company structures.
Cooper founded First AML in 2017 with his two co-founders, Bion Behdin and Chris Caigou, who were working as corporate bankers when the first phase of AML regulations were introduced for banks in 2013.