Ravelin raises £8M Series B to use machine learning to fight e-commerce fraud

Ravelin, the London-based company using machine learning to help e-commerce companies fight and predict the risk of fraud, has raised £8 million in Series B funding. The round is led by BlackFin Capital Partners, while existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Passion Capital, and Playfair Capital followed on.

In a call with co-founder and CEO Martin Sweeney, he told me the new funding will in part be used for Ravelin’s expansion plans. This will include opening an office in the East Coast of the U.S., where the company is seeing increasing in-bound inquiries. This, he says, won’t merely be one or two sales people, but will be staffed properly, including posting one of Ravelin’s other co-founders there.

The company has also recently developed a product for Payment Service Providers, and says it will continue to invest in other capabilities complementary to its core of charge back protection proposition. These will include account security and risk prediction.

Launched in 2016, Ravelin’s has developed machine learning-based technology that helps online merchants and their payment service providers reduce losses to fraud and improve acceptance rates of orders. The idea is to do away with cruder, rule-based systems and use machine learning to negate false positives and give merchants more confidence accepting customers/transactions.

More broadly, Ravelin wants to be an invaluable tool in fighting chargebacks, account takeovers, organised fraud rings and terms of service abuse, which the company says continues to be a multi-billion dollar problem for the online commerce industry.

Sweeney tells me the future aim is to be able to identify different patterns of risk to personalise the customer journey accordingly. For example, a more riskier transaction may introduce more friction in the checkout process as more security hurdles are introduced. Likewise, a less risky customer could encounter fewer steps, helping to increase conversions.

To that end, in the last year businesses such as eShopWorld, Just Eat, Kinguin, and Quiqup have joined Ravelin’s existing enterprise clients. “There is no greater endorsement of our approach than the companies we’ve been able to add to our portfolio,” adds Sweeney in a statement. “We’re proud that many of the world’s leading online businesses have chosen to work with us. We’ll continue to serve them well”.

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