Startup of the Week: ComplyTech
Feb 26

Today we want to introduce you to the new startup in Lithuania ecosystem – ComplyTech which is a Know Your Customer (KYC) end-to-end technology and service provider, with a team of international experience in anti-money laundering programs and regulations.

As CEO of ComplyTech Michel Farah says: ‘We offer financial institutions ‘’KYC as a Service’’. It’s a full outsourcing solution which includes both system and service. Our solution enables fast and efficient KYC due diligence processing during all stages of the customer relationship, starting with files and data collection,  identification and verification, screening, risk scoring, ongoing due diligence and periodic reviews. Our solutions support the  financial institutions in meeting their obligations with regards to the challenging and evolving KYC anti money laundering laws and regulations.’ 

What are your competitors and competitive advantages?

Refinitiv/Thomson Reuters  – Using our service offers differentiated benefits:

  • Flexibility in the product delivery, and the contractual terms
  • Our experienced and enthusiastic team is able to provide outstanding customer service and support

What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?

  • With many anti money laundering (AML) laws and regulations -particularly in EU- and especially the latest 5th AML directive which is coming into effect on January 10, 2020, whereby other big players are joining the financial space by being regulated: such as crypto exchanges, the opportunity is huge.
  • Taking into account the latest significant adverse news in a number of EU states related to found lax AML controls in well known financial institutions, there is a trend for a higher investment into the compliance and AML resources to meet the AML and regulatory risks, especially in the technology and resources related to the KYC area (know your customer).

When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?

We launched in January 2019. Main challenge is finding the right talent with the right experience in this space which usually requires exposure to international regulation and processes.

What are your target customers? Both in terms of user profile and geography?

Financial institutions: Banks, Electronic Money Institutions (EMI), crypto exchanges, Payment Instituions. Our main client base is EU and Asia regions

What are main challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming them?

Identifying and combining the different technology solutions which are able to provide the flexibility and adaptability, and at the same time ensure automation to a certain extent is a difficult task to achieve and it requires deep knowledge in designing the process flow to ensure meeting the regulatory requirements and the FIs AML policies. 

As mentioned earlier, finding the right talent with the specific experience is still a challenge. Probably the location of operations is a key in attracting the desired talent, since most of big financial institutions are located in Vilnius.

How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?

We are self-funded for the moment, however we might look for additional funding after the first couple of years

Please introduce your founders, your core team and your broader team?

Michel Farah, former Director of Compliance at Visa is the leader of ComplyTech, with a team of experts of international experience in the field of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

Michel is a Compliance Leader with over 17 years of experience in MNC and regional businesses, FinTech and payment industries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, CIS&SEE, Russia and Asia Pacific regions with expertise in anti-money laundering (AML), anti-terrorist financing and economic sanctions, anti-Bribery corruption (ABC) compliance, internal controls and enterprise risk assessment, business ethics, information security and data protection, Third party due diligence and testing, and audit of quality management systems.

How has business been so far? Could you share some numbers to illustrate this (users, sales, etc)?

We are in the very early stage of our business. We are currently in the process of onboarding a financial institution based in Estonia.

Future plans, ambitions? Simply speaking – what’s next?

The main task for now is to build the brand and reputation. Once this is done, we simply would leverage on it and plan a number of exciting products to offer and add value to financial institutions in the region and beyond.

Thank you for your answers!