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Goldman Sachs backs financial crime fighting startup ComplyAdvantage

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A Goldman Sachs logo is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, on Wednesday, August 11, 2010. The Dow lost over 265.42 closing at 10378.83 points on poor economic reports. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images)
Goldman's investment brings ComplyAdvantage's Series C funding round to $70m. Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

Goldman Sachs (GS) has put its weight behind financial crime fighting startup, ComplyAdvantage as the level of scams and sophistication of criminals grows. 

The terms of the transaction with the Growth Equity team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management have not been disclosed. 

However, Goldman's investment brings ComplyAdvantage's Series C funding round — first announced in July last year — to $70m (£49.5m). 

"The company brings clear value to its clients and has grown at an impressive rate," said James Hayward, managing director in the Growth Equity team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. "We are excited to support the business as it continues to scale rapidly and help companies of all stages manage these critical risks."

ComplyAdvantage, which specialises in artificial intelligence-driven financial crime risk data and detection tech, plans to use the investment to build on its "rapid growth" and managing risks around anti-money laundering (AML). 

Due to the growing volume, velocity and complexity of financial crimes, the traditional methods of human analysts reviewing batched data are no longer viable in many cases, the company said. This is further spurred by the "unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation" as well as rapidly growing fintechs and corporates.

As such, the company offers a "hyperscale financial risk insight" and AML data solution that leverages AI and natural language processing to help companies manage their risk obligations and prevent financial crime. 

Its proprietary database — derived from millions of data points — provides real-time insights across sanctions, watchlists, politically exposed persons, and negative news. This "reduces dependence on manual review processes and legacy databases by up to 80%", improving how firms screen and monitor clients and transactions.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Index Ventures, and Balderton Capital are among other investors in the company.

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Charles Delingpole, founder and CEO of ComplyAdvantage, said: "Financial services innovation is the catalyst for massive business transformation. Companies need a hyper-scale AML and risk solution as a financial crime deterrent.

"Goldman Sachs Asset Management is a great partner for ComplyAdvantage because they recognise the power of intelligent AML and risk detection not only to fortify businesses but also to help them introduce new services to market with greater confidence and integrity."

The company, founded in 2014, already works in partnership with several high profile organisations, including US crypto platform Gemini, UK challenger bank OakNorth and Australian payment app Beem It.

The company says over 500 enterprises in 75 countries rely on its risk assessment services and has four global hubs located in New York, London, Singapore and Romania. 

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