When Anglo-Hungarian startup SEON raised $94m (£72m) in April it immediately became the most highly invested Hungarian founded business in history and the largest ever Series B for a fraud prevention business.

The investment will fuel its international expansion plans but co-founder Tamas Kadar told BusinessCloud the cash injection won’t mean they’re suddenly chasing a $1bn valuation.

The 28-year-old said: “My aspiration is not to be a unicorn, my aspiration is to build a healthy business, a business that is self-sufficient.

“My aspiration is honestly to give back to the community and to help more founders to be successful, at least to the same extent as we have become.

“It would be great to be a unicorn but that’s not something we work towards.”

He founded the business in 2017 with Bence Jendruszak and in the next 12 months SEON plans to increase its headcount by 150 people in total, doubling its teams in London and Jakarta, adding another 80 to 90 people in its founding location Budapest, and doubling its team in the US.

SEON’s API-led technology uses data to establish an individual’s digital footprint based on their email address, phone number, IP address or location in real-time to reduce fraud.

The process takes less than a second and customers include Revolut, NuBank, Afterpay, Patreon and Sorare. The company tripled its annual recurring revenue in both 2020 and 2021.

£72m to power fraud prevention startup SEON

The $94m Series B was led by Silicon Valley-based IVP, the round also includes existing investors Creandum and PortfoLion, as well as angel investors.

These include founders and senior executives from tech companies Aiven, Coinbase, DataDog, DoorDash, Figma, G2, GitHub, Public, Slack, Supercell, UiPath, Veriff and Wise.

Don’t go for the highest valuation

Kadar said SEON turned down some investment offers despite the fact that it would have increased the valuation of the business.

“I think if a company is being overvalued it sets high expectations,” he said.

He explained the likely scenario of what could have happened had they taken the higher valuation investment.

“In three years’ times the expectations will be higher, we’ll have to hit higher goals with the same amount of resources we will have in place,” he said.

“It’s always something in the back of the mind of every founder to have the highest valuation ever but (it’s important to be) conscious about what the investor would want in return.”