Resistant AI scores $16.6M for its anti-fraud fintech tools

Resistant AI, which uses artificial intelligence to help financial services companies combat fraud and financial crime — selling tools to protect credit risk scoring models, payment systems, customer onboarding and more — has closed $16.6 million in Series A funding.

GV (formerly Google Ventures) led the round, with participation from existing investors Index Ventures (led by partner Jan Hammer), Credo Ventures (led by Ondrej Bartos and Vladislav Jez) and Seedcamp, plus several unnamed angel investors specializing in financial technology and security.

The 2019-founded, Prague-based startup says the funding will be used to meet rising demand from global financial institutions, including by building out its product, engineering and sales operations teams beyond its existing footprint — which also includes offices in London and New York.

The startup tells TechCrunch it has 30 customers signed up at this stage to use its dedicated anti-fraud security products — which include machine learning detection of fraudulent documents and AI for spotting problematic patterns of transactions.

Collectively its customers, which include banks, insurance companies and fintechs — it can’t name the biggest but names the likes of KBC, Payoneer, Habito and Twisto — are processing tens of millions of transactions per month, it also said, adding that in its home market of the Czech Republic it’s now working with banks that have a combined 50% market share.

To give a taster of the problem it’s tackling, the startup says that assessment of customer data it’s acquired and reviewed indicates: 17% of bank statement that are used for lending applications, “Know Your Customer” regulations and other purposes are tampered with; 11% of U.K. payslips submitted as part of digital loan applications are altered or forged; 15% of company registration certificates submitted worldwide when opening a bank account are fakes; and 9% of utility bills submitted as a proof of address worldwide are forged.

“Our mission is to create an intelligent shield for autonomous financial systems, to protect them against these ever-evolving, ever-smarter attacks,” adds CEO Martin Rehak in a statement. “That’s the only way we can avoid epidemic fraud, mountains of manual reviews and four-factor authentication on every single online service.”

In another supporting statement, Tom Hulme, general partner at GV, said: “Resistant AI’s founding team has unique expertise in applying AI and machine learning to detect complex and evasive behavior. Early customer traction demonstrates an ability to uncover unknown threats, and reliably categorize and reduce false alerts with transparent, explainable and verifiable detection models.”