A financial crime intelligence startup has raised £150,000 in a pre-seed funding round from SFC Capital.

Schwarzthal Tech uses AI to fight financial crime by gathering publicly available information and assessing potential customers’ connections with criminal or suspicious networks.

It will use the funds to further develop the platform, build a marketing team as well as filing for an intellectual property patent on its ‘know your network’ methodology. 

Economic and financial crime is growing across the globe, with ‘know your customer’ (KYC) policies implemented across financial institutions to tackle the problem. KYC processes take place when a bank or financial institution onboards a new client and are aimed at assessing the level of potential risk the customer could pose. 

Schwarzthal Tech

However, the globalisation of financial crime means that it rarely involves only one individual or company, which is why knowing not only your client but also their network has become increasingly important for financial institutions across the world.

Marius-Cristian Frunza, CEO and co-founder of Schwarzthal Tech, came up with the idea after witnessing first-hand how organised crime networks infiltrated and abused the carbon emissions market in the 2000s.

A renowned expert and author of various books on modern-day financial crime, he played a key advisory role during the production of Netflix’s Lords of Scam. The 2021 documentary focused on the carbon emissions scandal, which resulted in tens of billions of dollars falling into the hands of transnational organised crime. 

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“We are very excited about working with SFC Capital to further our mission to democratise financial crime globally,” he said. “It is no longer enough to look at individuals as isolated entities: they are connected to complex networks of people and companies across the world that make it difficult to find criminal activities. 

“Schwarzthal Tech’s platform will help expose connections to criminal rings, corruption and illegal activities and prevent money laundering and fraud from potential individuals.”