Unit21 Nets $13M For Business Risk And Compliance Tool

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San Francisco-based Unit21, which offers products for fighting financial crime, has landed $13 million in a funding round led by A.Capital Ventures. Unit21 has experienced “growth of 400 percent by helping risk and compliance teams identify, investigate and report suspicious activity,” the company said in a press release announcing the funding.

“Risk and compliance are increasingly expensive departments within companies,” Unit 21 said in the release, noting a FinTech Futures report said U.S. and U.K. anti-money-laundering regulators in 2019 issued about 30 percent of the fines totaling $8.14 billion slapped on companies globally in 2019.

Unit21 said it will “use the new capital to grow its product and distribution-focused management team, increase sales and marketing efforts, and launch in new industries.” What it has to offer, in particular, is “no-code tools” for risk and compliance teams.

The startup said its “highly flexible, customizable, and intelligent cloud-based system” focuses on transaction monitoring, identity verification, operations management along with analytics and reporting.

Trisha Kothari and Clarence Chio, former Affirm and Shape Security employees, founded Unit21 in 2018. Unit21 said it works with such customers as Intuit, Coinbase, Gusto and Line.

Erik Roodsari, risk platform lead with Intuit said, “Our integration with Unit21 was easy and the team outperformed against an aggressive integration timeline. We saved months of engineering effort by not building these tools in-house.”

Other investors in the new funding round include Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI venture fund), Core VC and South Park Commons. Individual investors include Diane Greene (founder of VMWare), William Hockey (founder of Plaid), Chris Britt and Ryan King (founders of Chime), Sumit Agarwal (founder of Shape Security) and Michael Vaughan (former COO of Venmo).

Digital payments are a critical part of the world’s economy. However, common payment methods are rife with frictions — including the potential for interception by hackers who can pilfer the payments themselves or the personal data that accompanies them.

However, new cloud-based technologies have shown much promise in securing cross-border payments and making them faster and more transparent.

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