UPDATED 12:00 EST / DECEMBER 12 2017

BIG DATA

Simility raises $17.5M round led by Accel for its fraud-fighting AI

For a bank or a retailer that processes upwards of tens of thousands of transactions a day, spotting fraudulent activity can be tricky to say the least. Simility Inc. wants to help.

The three-year-old fraud detection startup today announced that it has raised a $17.5 million funding round led by venture capital powerhouse Accel. The firm was joined by PayPal Holdings Inc. along with existing backers The Valley Fund and Trinity Ventures.

Simility offers a platform that uses machine learning to pick out fraudulent transactions. One of the main selling points is a capability called Device Recon that can collect “hundreds” of details about a user such as what browser they use and their operating system. The individual data points are turned into a kind of digital fingerprint that helps with identifying potential fraudsters.

This feature is particularly handy for catching repeat offenders, such as a user who has been banned from an e-commerce site and opens a new account under a different email address. But Device Recon naturally can’t identify every case of fraud by itself. To fill the blind spots, Simility complements the digital fingerprints with data from multiple other sources.

The platform can ingest information from a company’s website, backend transaction processing applications and a variety of other systems. The built-in machine learning algorithms then scan the data for signs of fraudulent activity. Moreover, they can identify when scammers attempt to change up their tactics and adjust the detection criteria automatically.

Simility says that its platform is used at multiple Fortune 500 financial companies, including several of the top 50 banks in the US. The startup boasts of having built this customer base without having a “palpable” sales operation, although that is understandably set to change in the wake of the new funding round. Simility will also hire more data scientists to support its development efforts.

Image: Pixabay

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