New Zealand anti-money laundering firm (AML) First AML has raised $ 21 million in a Series B funding round, the company said in a press release on Tuesday, November 2. The round was led by Blackbird Ventures, one of the company’s early clients. The cycle also saw participation from Headline Ventures, Pushpay founder Eliot Crowther, Bedrock Capital and Icehouse Ventures, according to the company.
In order to combat money laundering activity and potential security breaches, First AML is digitizing the customer onboarding process, ensuring that all reporting entities meet compliance requirements.
Since the platform’s launch in Australia earlier this year, First AML has hired more than 15 employees locally and is set to hire eight more before the end of the year. The investment will be allocated to doubling the workforce from 90 to 180 worldwide by the end of 2021 as well as expanding into Europe, the announcement said.
Milan Cooper founded First AML in 2017 with co-founders Bion Behdin and Chris Caigou, who worked as corporate bankers when the first phase of AML regulation was introduced for banks in 2013. The company started in New -Zeeland, but has since widened. its reach in Australia.
Emphasizing the need for First AML’s expansion, Cooper said the AML technology market has grown by about 20% over the past year to $ 214 billion.
“With groundbreaking investigations into tax havens and money laundering in multiple countries, the AML compliance regime is now moving to non-financial businesses globally,” Cooper said. “This increase will help us scale, fueling further global expansion and product development to boost our network effect.
In the UK, banks and other financial institutions (FIs) are filing more suspicious activity reports than ever before, as reported by PYMNTS. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) noted an overall 16% increase in reporting from 2017 to 2020.
See also: FCA: Increase in number of banks filing financial crime reports