Anti-Money Laundering Startup First AML Launches Australian Operations

Anti-money laundering tech startup First AML has launched in Australia after experiencing increased demand from the nation’s growing VC community for solutions that help them manage compliance requirements.

The second tranche of AML legislation is expected to hit Australia within the next two years, but First AML 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, in Australia there are 15,000 reporting entities. This number will exceed 100,000 under Tranche 2 when AML compliance becomes mandatory for lawyers, accountants and real estate agents. First AML is gearing up for growth in the market by offering a regtech solution for these reporting entities.

First AML’s cofounder Bion Behdin is relocating to the company’s new Sydney office and is looking to hire 10 new staff locally. First AML has 65 employees based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Commenting on the Australian expansion, Behdin said: “We’re excited to offer regulation technology built for investment firms and lenders to help them manage compliance faster and more accurately. Regtech 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 from customers in countries like Australia and the US is heating up as businesses look to prepare for the new regulatory requirements, and we are now well placed to capture these opportunities and offer the world’s best AML compliance platform. This is a $184 billion global market – there’s massive opportunity out there.”

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Money laundering is a big problem in Australia, and First AML is offering a solution to combat this. Independent anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance compliance auditor Neil Jeans estimates $65-$75 billion worth of cash goes through the pokies across Australia each year.

First AML recently raised AU$7.3 million in a Series A funding round led by US-based Bedrock Capital, with support from existing investors Pushpay founder Chris Heaslip and Icehouse Ventures.

First AML’s regulatory technology (regtech) platform streamlines AML anti-money laundering compliance for the likes of 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.

Australian venture capital firm Blackbird is using First AML, and business operations manager Dan Danilov says: “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 were introduced for banks in 2013.

About First AML

First AML streamlines Anti-Money Laundering compliance through its online identity verification system that can be completed by individuals anywhere in the world on their smart device. Its end-to-end Customer Due Diligence platform is used by financial service providers, lawyers, accountants and real-estate agents, providing them complete visibility and management oversight on the go. See https://www.firstaml.com/

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View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210504005351/en/


Alex Beashel
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