SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Anti-money laundering (AML) tech company First AML has raised US $21 million (NZ $ 30 million) in a Series B funding round led by Blackbird Ventures and international investor Headline, together with renewed commitments from existing investors Bedrock Capital, Icehouse Ventures and Pushpay founder Eliot Crowther.
Fraud and money laundering, already a critical challenge to all digital transactions, have been on the rise due to the global instability brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Investigations such as the Pandora Papers have also reignited concerns on AML compliance and the transparency of international financial transactions. Emerging legislation and regulation is also requiring a greater number of businesses and financial intermediaries to perform CDD and AML checks throughout the lifetime of all their customer relationships.
First AML is solving this problem through its regulatory technology (RegTech) solution that allows B2B clients such as financial service providers, law firms, real estate agencies, and accountants, to streamline their anti-money laundering compliance processes and minimize risk.
The company’s end-to-end due diligence platform automates the identity verification of customers, with complete visibility and management oversight. It also includes improved biometric identification for remote verification and visual tools to help users understand the ownership of complex company structures.
Leveraging global trends and network effects
Launched in 2017 in New Zealand, First AML has since expanded to Australia in 2021. Raised on the back of strong international customer demand, today’s Series B round will be used to expand its solution to Europe and double its global headcount from 90 to 180 employees.
"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 now. With groundbreaking investigations around tax havens and money laundering across multiple countries, the AML compliance regime is now shifting to non-financial businesses globally. This raise will help us scale, fueling further global expansion and product development to supercharge our network effect,” says First AML’s co-founder and CEO Milan Cooper commenting on the raise.
Global growth is part of the company’s business model
New investor Blackbird Ventures has been an avid user of First AML’s solution for several years: “We heavily rely on First AML. This is what is special about this deal - how intimately connected we are to the customer pain point, our love for the product roadmap, and the network effects that emerge as their business model goes global,” says Blackbird Partner Samantha Wong.
“Most businesses do not have the resources to build their own compliance infrastructure. This is especially the case in Europe where new regulations have increased pressure and complexity on non-financial services businesses to comply with ever greater requirements. We are excited to join the company as it goes on to shake up the global compliance market,” says Michael Kent from venture capital firm Headline.
Milan Cooper founded First AML in 2017 with his two co-founders, Bion Behdin and Chris Caigou, who were working as corporate bankers. In 2020, First AML raised AU$7.3 million in a Series A funding round, led by US-based Bedrock Capital, with support from existing investors.
About First AML
First AML streamlines anti-money laundering compliance through its online identity verification system that can be completed by individuals anywhere in the world on their smart device. Its end-to-end customer due diligence platform is used by financial service providers, lawyers, accountants and real estate agents, providing them complete visibility and management oversight on the go. See https://www.firstaml.com/