Anti-money laundering tech startup First AML has launched in Australia after an increased demand from the growing VC (venture capital) community to cater solutions that will help them manage compliance requirements.
The second tranche of AML (anti-money laundering) legislation is expected to hit Australia within the next two years, but First AML claims “it is already gaining traction in the market, with several of the country’s top venture capitalist firms using the platform.”
Under the current Tranche 1, there are 15,000 reporting entities. This number will surpass 100,000 under Tranche 2 when AML compliance becomes mandatory for lawyers, accountants, and real estate agents.
This is where First AML comes into the picture: it will offer a regtech solution for these reporting entities, and is poised to grow in the market.
First AML reports that its Co-Founder, Bion Behdin, is relocating to the company’s new Sydney office, and is open to hire 10 new staff locally. First AML has 65 employees based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Bion Behdin comments on the Australian expansion: “We’re excited to offer regulation technology built for investment firms and lenders to help them manage compliance faster and more accurately. Regtech (regulatory technology) is usually aimed at the ‘Big Four banks’—but if we want our economy to grow, we have to help the next layer of financiers become more efficient.”
“Interest in Australia and US is heating up as businesses look to prepare for the new regulatory requirements, and we are positioned to seize these opportunities and offer the world’s best AML compliance platform. This is a US$184 billion global market— there's massive opportunity out there”, he notes.
“Money laundering is a big problem in Australia”, we’re told, and First AML offers a solution to combat this. Independent anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance compliance auditor Neil Jeans estimates US$65-US$75 billion worth of cash goes through the pokies across Australia each year.
According to First AML, its regtech platform streamlines AML compliance financial service providers, law firms, real estate agencies, and accountants.
The company’s end-to-end Customer Due Diligence platform automates the identity verification of customers, giving companies complete visibility and management oversight of the process, minimising money laundering risk.
The platform also includes improved biometric identification for remote verification and new visual tools to help users understand the ownership of complex company structures.
Venture capital firm Blackbird is using First AML, and its, Business Operations Manager, Dan Danilov, vets on First AML’s credibility: “It’s reduced our AML case bottleneck, completely removing the burden of collecting and verifying AML documents, with an easy-to-use dashboard that tracks the status of all our cases. Many of our investors have reached out to let us know how much better the experience is.”
Behdin founded First AML in 2017 with his two co-founders, Milan Cooper and Chris Caigou, who were working as corporate bankers when the first phase of AML regulations was introduced for banks in 2013.