- Thirdfort’s proprietary risk engine identifies fraud and money laundering risk faster, smoother, and more accurately than manual verification
- The risk management platform for professional services offers digital onboarding and will extend its capability to offer secure payments
- Thirdfort will double down on legal and property sectors before expanding into mortgage broking, accountancy, and wealth management
- Professional services firms feeling the heat as regulators clamp down on dirty money
London, 8th March: Thirdfort a risk management platform for professional services, has secured £15m in a Series A round. The company will use the financing to ramp up growth and product development, in line with its vision to build a seamless and flexible platform for beautifully secure client onboarding and payments.
The fundraise was led by Breega, a leading pan-European VC built by founders for founders and Element Ventures, a London-based fund focused on B2B fintech, has also invested in the round.
The round also includes backing from leading founders of businesses including ComplyAdvantage, Tessian, Fenergo, R3, Funding Circle and Fidel.
First-hand experience of the problem
Thirdfort was founded by university friends Olly Thornton-Berry and Jack Bidgood after a friend was defrauded out of £25,000 whilst buying a flat in London, despite having gone through countless anti-fraud checks with multiple professionals. Olly and Jack saw first-hand the devastating effects of fraud, and the cruel irony of their friend being subjected to endless paper based anti-fraud checks which were hugely frustrating. Thirdfort’s platform was developed in response to hearing from lawyers, estate agents, mortgage brokers and other professionals about how challenging it had become to onboard and transact securely with clients in a world of ever rising regulation and fraud.
Tackling the compliance burden
The funding will help Thirdfort meet rapidly rising demand. With spiralling payment scams, and money laundering now costing the UK economy £100bn annually, regulated professionals face an ever-growing risk and compliance burden. Manually tackling this burden is not only costly but the client experience suffers with transactions bogged down by paper, endless repetition and increased fraud risk.
Thirdfort’s risk engine rapidly informs professionals of risks with onboarding and allows them to begin transacting with new clients, whether individuals or corporates. The risk engine is powered by best-in-class Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) services alongside Open Banking and transaction specific data.
Clients of businesses using Thirdfort have the option to download a seamless mobile app to connect bank feeds, input verification data and soon, securely send funds to their professional advisers. This seamless experience reduces onboarding time to minutes and turns compliance into a competitive advantage for businesses using Thirdfort. The mobile app has been downloaded by over 500,000 individuals in the UK over the past two and a half years.
Thirdfort’s digital onboarding is used by over 700 businesses including leading law firms DAC Beachcroft, Penningtons Manches Cooper and Mishcon de Reya, and property businesses Knight Frank, Strutt & Parker and Winkworth.
The Series A investment will support continued growth in Thirdfort’s core legal and property markets. The funds will also support expansion into other highly regulated sectors, including accountancy, wealth management and mortgage broking, all of which are facing rising compliance burdens following surging fraud levels.
The business has grown tenfold in terms of revenue and people since January 2020 and plans to expand its team of 94 to 150 by the end of 2022.
Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder and Managing Director, commented: “Powered by Open Banking and our own proprietary risk engine, we’re building the first risk management platform which incorporates end-to-end onboarding and payments for professional services firms. We see a huge opportunity, both in the UK and internationally, for a seamless and flexible platform that enables these businesses and their clients to move fearlessly.
“Having developed a market leading solution for legal and property without the need of institutional money, we felt that the size of the opportunity to expand into new sectors warranted an influx of capital. In Breega and Element we’ve got passionate, smart and supportive funders who we’re so excited to welcome aboard for the next phase of the journey.”
Maxence Drummond, Principal at Breega, commented: “For both consumers and professional services, the risk of fraud and the need for compliance represents a massive burden. Consumers need to get verified for every transaction, and regulated professionals spend too much of their valuable time on client verification and compliance.
“Thirdfort’s KYC and advanced AML technology offers a game-changing solution for the legal, property and financial services professions. We’re delighted to be backing the brilliant team at Thirdfort as they continue to scale at speed across the UK and beyond.”
Mike McFadgen, Partner at Element Ventures, commented: “We love that Olly and Jack started Thirdfort because they saw the pain of a friend being defrauded. It’s made them deeply mission-driven founders determined to change the way businesses and consumers transact. The KYC and AML processes in property, legal, accounting, and other verticals are still so antiquated and broken, a problem that was accentuated by the pandemic. Thirdfort’s Risk Management Platform will bring much needed modernisation to these verticals.”
Thirdfort protects life’s big transactions so that businesses and their clients can move fearlessly. With payment fraud and money laundering skyrocketing, regulated professionals are struggling to keep pace with their compliance obligations. Thirdfort turns compliance into a competitive advantage, offering beautifully secure onboarding for professional services businesses operating across legal, property and finance
About Element Ventures
Element Ventures is a global venture capital fund investing in B2B financial technology companies. Element’s partners are proud to have backed some of the best founders and companies in the industry. Element’s mission is to back the bold founders who are building tomorrow’s financial technology.