Let start with a brief introduction, what can you tell us about Neotas and your RegTech offering?
Neotas are specialists in online due diligence. We provide deep insight on risk by interrogating all publicly available data (open sources) on social media, the surface web and the deep web. We help our clients reduce fraud, mitigate risk and comply with the latest regulatory guidelines. Our services are scalable, cost-effective and apply a unique blend of AI technology and natural language processing for smarter risk management.
What are some of the biggest challenges your solutions you solve for your clients?
A challenge in today’s digital era is knowing that who you’re dealing with is who they say they are. We search the entire breadth and depth of the Internet, flagging reputational and non-financial risks. For example, if a company or individual has stated that ESG is at the top of their agenda, but we uncover modern slavery concerns through open sources, wouldn’t you want to know about it?
Another challenge facing organisations is how to comply with ever changing regulations. The regulators are increasingly pointing to the use of open sources as best practice (for instance in the FCA’s Financial Crime Guide). Our enhanced due diligence checks ensure that no stone is left unturned and that all open sources have been searched (not just Google page 2). This ultimately helps organisations comply with regulations and have a defensible position back to the regulators.
Could you give us a use case of why a client came to you and how they are using your solution to solve their particular challenge?
A European bank came to us that had concerns around the staff they were onboarding, as they had experienced a number of high profile instances of fraudsters joining the organisation. We worked with them to understand their current onboarding process and we devised a solution that improved the way candidates were screened before they joined the bank. The solution involved looking at social media, adverse media and deep web searches to highlight business risks, including reputational issues, employment and education inconsistencies and undisclosed directorships.
How would you describe the differences between your offering from others in your RegTech category?
The approach of most companies in this space includes screening people against databases. Our approach to risk management is different…we take a proactive approach by looking at an individual entity’s digital footprint including unstructured and otherwise underutilised data that sits across the largest dataset of them all – the Internet. Our unique blend of machine learning, natural language processing and image analytics enables new insight into global risk. When coupled with multi-lingual capabilities and deep industry expertise, our solutions become cost-effective and highly scalable. We complement and augment existing due diligence processes by going further than traditional checks.
What advice would you give to decision makers when choosing a RegTech solution such as the ones your offer?
We would encourage decision makers to ask themselves the question “If the information sits in the public domain, shouldn’t I include that in my risk decisions?”
We think they should! Our solution supplements existing processes and enables decision makers to look at risk and compliance through a new lens. Our advice would be to embrace the insight that open sources can provide and to consider an AI-driven solution such as that provided by Neotas, especially in today’s digital climate.
On top of this, the uncertainty created by the pandemic has been a paradise for fraudsters as they look to capitalise on traditional business practices being out-of-sorts. We would advise decision makers that there has never been a more important time to review 100% of risk data available to you before making decisions.
Due to the global pandemic a lot has changed in the world in the last year. How has your company changed in the last 12 months?
Neotas has seen a huge amount of growth over the last 12 months. From the initial concerns when the pandemic first hit in last March, we have found all of the markets that we operate in increase. Whether that’s staff onboarding, client onboarding or investment due diligence and fraud. We feel that the pandemic gave our new clients an opportunity to sit back and review existing processes and embrace new technology to help them going forward.
Can you tell us about some of your most recent achievements or milestones you’ve reached?
During lockdown, the company has more than doubled in size, adding resources in all departments especially in core development. We have onboarded some large financial institutions. We have also taken on board large corporates. Our distribution geographically has widened and we now have clients in Australasia, Asia, Europe and the US. We secured ISO 27001 status last year and this year we are ISO 27701 certified, which is a global standard in data privacy – core to what we do.
What drives you as a company and what is Neotas’s long term vision?
When we started Neotas, we felt there was a gap in the market, as companies were going through a process of database checks and ticking boxes to make their risk decisions.
Yet there is a whole host of publicly available non-financial information that companies haven’t been taking into account. We figured out there was a way to use technology to look at this unstructured data on the Internet to inform risk-based decisions.
We can now confidently say we are experts in applying AI and machine learning to identify risk across customers, investments, partners and employees.
Our long-term vision is to make online due diligence the norm for any organisation, large or small.
What are some of the important developments you are seeing in the RegTech industry?
The ESG sector has grown considerably in the last 5 years and with it, so has the number of ESG related technology solutions. Financial institutions will look to these solution providers to help them meet their ESG needs. This is an important development for us too as we can help organisations uncover any ESG issues that may be hidden in plain sight.
What’s next for Neotas?
More of the same! We’re increasing sales internationally. The product suite we offer continues to be developed. We added continuous monitoring at the back end of last year and we are developing a full SaaS solution so that clients have access to the full suite of products on their desktops.
What’s the best way for potential clients or investors to get in touch with you?
Neotas are specialists in online due diligence. We provide deep insight on risk by interrogating all publicly available data (open sources) on social media, the surface web and the deep web. We help our clients reduce fraud, mitigate risk and comply with the latest regulatory guidelines. Our services are scalable, cost-effective and apply a unique blend of AI technology and natural language processing for smarter risk management. Visit www.neotas.com