Estonian regtech firm Salv has secured €4 million in a seed funding round extension to combat financial crimes. The funding round was led by New York-based venture capital firm ffVC and participated by German G+D Ventures and existing investors. To date, Salv has raised €7 million in venture capital investments.
Fighting for a safer fintech scene
Financial crime, particularly fraud, has seen a significant increase in recent years due to the explosive growth of the fintech industry. Financial institutions often operate in silos and attempt to solve the problem independently, leading to a shortened timeline for fraud recall. Salv aims to combat financial crimes with its collaborative platform, Salv Bridge.
Founded in 2018 by former Wise and Skype employees, including Taavi Tamkivi (CEO), Jeff McClelland (COO), and Sergei Rumjantsev (CTO), Salv offering entails all the necessary Anti-Money Laundering (AML) functionality for financial services companies, such as automatically identifying and prioritizing suspicious activity and processing vast amounts of data in real-time.
By leveraging the collective power of its network, Salv Bridge minimizes non-compliance and financial crime, helping network members solve fraud cases in minutes, not days. The company has 60+ employees, including former Skype and Wise employees with financial crime-fighting experience.
Taavi Tamkivi, CEO and co-founder of Salv, is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive. Before founding Salv, he built the AML, Fraud and KYC teams at Wise and Skype, one of Estonia’s biggest tech companies. “The funds allow us to add functionality to our modular AML toolset and expand to new markets, helping more companies improve their crime-fighting measures and thereby protect their end-customers”, says Tamkivi.
Estonia’s stance against financial crime
Worth noticing that Estonia itself is taking a strong stance against money laundering and fraud practices, with various organizations working together to prevent and combat illegal financial activities.
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for overall policy and coordination, while the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit analyzes and verifies information on suspicions of money laundering and terrorist financing. The Prosecutor’s Office, Security Police, and Tax and Customs Board actively work to identify criminals and hold them accountable.
Additionally, a governmental committee for the coordination of money laundering prevention has been established, with a specific Advisory Committee of Market Participants to gather information and proposals from market participants. Obligated persons such as banks, financial service providers, and real estate intermediaries are required to inform the Financial Intelligence Unit of large cash transactions, and all entrepreneurs and financial institutions must register with the Register of Economic Activities.
Already saving millions
Salv’s solutions have already proven effective against financial crime, with 21 financial institutions in Europe already joining the collaborative crime-fighting network and collectively solving almost 7000 investigations, preventing €6-7m from reaching criminals.
One of the satisfied clients from the pilot stage is LHV UK, a British branch of an Estonian bank, LHV. “In the UK, where we process payment volumes worth hundreds of millions every day, Salv’s solutions allow us real-time communication with other institutions within the network and provide us with tools to apply effective countermeasures to constantly changing patterns of financial crime”, said Andres Kitter, Deputy CEO of LHV UK.
Mateusz Zawistowski, Managing Director of ffVC, is expecting a stellar growth path for the company. “We see a huge potential for geographical expansion and more financial institutions joining the network to improve compliance and crime-fighting capabilities”, says Zawistowski.
With the new funding, Salv aims to continue being at the forefront of the fight against financial crimes and ensuring a secure financial system for all. In 2023 the startup plans to continue expanding its focus on Europe and building more collaborative crime-fighting networks, with the goal of growing the business by 3x.
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