Cazoo founder reinvests in anti-money laundering start-up

Posted on April 12, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

(l-r) Thirdfort founders Olly Thornton-Berry and Jack Bidgood

(l-r) Thirdfort founders Olly Thornton-Berry and Jack Bidgood

Digital onboarding platform Thirdfort has secured £1.5m in its latest fundraising. 

The anti-money laundering and ‘know your client’ specialist is looking to ramp up product development and support its continued expansion in the legal and property markets.  

The ‘growth’ funding round was raised solely from existing investors, with the funds doubled via a convertible loan from the Government, as part of its Future Fund programme. 

This latest round marks the third investment from Alex Chesterman OBE, founder of Cazoo, Zoopla and LoveFilm, regarded as one of Britain’s most successful serial digital entrepreneurs. 

It also includes further backing from the likes of law firm Mishcon de Reya, Chris Marks, former CEO of Natwest Markets, and R3 founder David Rutter.  

It brings the company’s total funds raised to £4.2m and will support product development and innovation, particularly in light of HM Land Registry’s recently introduced Digital ID Standard which, alongside other Government initiatives, is expected to drive the use of digital ID within conveyancing. 

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FCA-regulated Thirdfort is a web and mobile app that combines Open Banking, document scanning and facial recognition technology, to streamline identity and source of funds checks carried out during legal and property transactions.  

Its tech is now used to remotely ‘onboard’ over 30,000 clients each month – a ten-fold increase on pre-pandemic numbers – on behalf of more than 500 law firms and property businesses.  

Between January 2020 and February 2021, the team’s headcount grew from 12 to 54, and the business is forecasting a further 65% increase by the end of this year, alongside sustainable profitability.  

“My passion in business is for solving problems, and the team at Thirdfort has developed a product that tackles an issue affecting hundreds of thousands of us each year – the cumbersome process of buying and selling homes,” said Chesterman.  

“This hasn’t changed for decades and is ripe for transformation, particularly around the compliance aspects that affect not just consumers and their lawyers, but also agents, brokers and lenders.  

“We also see huge scope to develop what the platform can offer to the wider legal profession, and I’m delighted to support the team as they continue to grow from strength to strength.” 

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Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder and MD, said: “We’re using cutting edge technology to help lawyers and property professionals minimise fraud risk, whilst improving the client experience during life’s big moments.  

“These tools have the backing of regulators, Government bodies and a growing number of firms, and our objective is for Thirdfort to become the new standard in legal security, as well as expanding into adjacent markets such as the estate agent and mortgage space.  

“That means building better products and doing so faster than ever, and we’re delighted that some of the UK’s leading angel investors support this strategy.” 

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