Bleckwen, a provider of real-time analytics software for fraud detection & prevention in payments, has come out of stealth to announce a $10 million first funding round. The funding will be used to support Bleckwen’s international expansion and the continued development of the company’s exciting software capabilities in AI-based fraud detection. The company’s expertise is strategically focused on the wider anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) context. Bleckwen recently spun-off from Ercom, the French cybersecurity firm. The round was led by Ring Capital, a Paris-based venture capital firm and existing investors, including TempoCap, Bpifrance and Ineo, alongside senior management.
Built with banks, for banks, Bleckwen’s real-time, dynamic behavioural analytics & explainable AI-engine is well placed to detect the surging fraud threats in payments, such as authorised push payment fraud or the “human hack” which is growing by circa 60% year-on-year, driven by the surge in real-time payment networks globally. The platform also protects banks from the emergent risks of open banking under PSD2, where banks will no longer have full control of the end-to-end user experience and security perimeter, presenting a completely new threat dimension.
Over the last year, the company has also strengthened its management team with the hire of David Christie, a 20-year veteran in financial services, previously the COO of Euronet’s money transfer business, which included the brands Ria, HiFX and XE. David is also Chairman of VitessePSP and investor in Shieldpay, bringing with him a wealth of experience implementing and operating both fraud and AML systems in payment businesses.
David is also joined by Matt Knowles, who was recently appointed Chairman of Bleckwen. Matt was previously CEO of HiFX, and together he and David successfully scaled HiFX into a world leading international payments company prior to its successful sale to Euronet.
David Christie, Bleckwen’s CEO, commented: “Nearly $4 trillion is stolen and laundered through banks annually – circa 3% of global GDP. Existing technologies are just not cutting it in the fight against this scourge of society. Something else needs to be done and at Bleckwen, we have made tremendous progress over the last two years as part of the Ercom Group, developing solutions to bring the fight to these criminals.”
“This fundraising is confirmation of our ‘scale-up readiness’ and the support from Ring Capital and our existing investors is testament to our expertise in productising class-leading AI-based analytics in the fight against financial crime for banks. Using Bleckwen’s software, we are seeing false positive ratios drop by over 95%, the time taken to resolve alerts fall by over 50%, and a reduction in fraud loss ratios by over 60% – as compared with incumbent legacy-based rules systems.”
“Working very closely with our customers, which include a tier-1 global bank, we have developed a market-leading, payment-type agnostic, real-time capability to meet their fraud detection and prevention requirements at industrial scale. Bleckwen’s software can also dynamically adapt to ever-changing customer behaviours and profiles. We have also significantly strengthened our senior management team and operational infrastructure and will be opening offices in the UK and the US in 2019.”
Matt Knowles, TempoCap Partner and Bleckwen Chairman, commented: “Having co-founded and scaled an international payments company that processed $20 billion annually, I have extensive real-world experience of the challenges faced by both fintechs and banks in of the domain of fraud detection and AML. I have been deeply impressed by Bleckwen’s advanced use of machine learning technology to radically increase fraud detection over current solutions, but, as importantly, substantially reduce the volume of false positives (which build friction and cost into the customer journey). We see significant potential to commercialise this technology across banks, fintechs & other multi-national enterprises to help combat fraud and AML risk across all payment types.”
Nicolas Celier, co-founder of Ring capital, commented: “Bleckwen has appeared to us as the unique combination of state-of-the-art AI technology, built by a leading French data team, together with top international management with a solid track record of scaling up Fintech companies worldwide. Ring knew Bleckwen before the spin-off and has contributed to design this deal in order to help Bleckwen grow and scale.”
Thierry Sommelet, Managing Director at Bpifrance Growth Capital – Head of Technology, Media, Telecom, said: “Bleckwen is uniquely positioned to help the fast-moving payments ecosystem improve clients’ protection and transaction efficiency, thanks to a leading-edge AI technology and experienced management. We are very happy to see David Christie and Matt Knowles join this adventure, as well as Ring Capital. We are confident that they will collectively thrive in driving the company on its new phase of growth.”
Bleckwen was recently awarded Fintech of the year at the EBAday 2019, an event run by the Euro Banking Association – an expert-led forum for the European payments industry with nearly200 member banks. Selected out of a category of 16 other finalists, the company received the prestigious award based on the innovative and dynamic nature of its market-leading AI-powered platform.
Huawei Maintains Steady Growth in the Enterprise Market in 2019
Huawei released its 2019 Annual Report yesterday, detailing a solid business performance. The company’s global sales revenue in 2019 rounded off at CNY858.8 billion, up 19.1% year-on-year. Huawei has maintained steady growth in the enterprise market and achieved a global sales revenue of CNY89.7 billion, up 8.6% year-on-year. Huawei’s enterprise business has become one of the key drivers of the company’s overall growth. As of 2019, more than 700 cities and 228 Fortune Global 500 companies have chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner. In addition, Huawei’s enterprise business has a network of more than 28,000 partners worldwide, which contribute up to 86% of the global revenue of the business group. Through this global partner network, Huawei has enabled the building of a prosperous inter-dependent ecosystem that creates value for customers and the whole industry.
In 2019, Huawei saw rapid expansion in enterprise business. With its non-stop efforts in R&D and investment in new ICT technologies such as 5G, AI, and cloud, Huawei fully leverages the collaborative advantages of new technologies to accelerate product innovation, industry digitization, and intelligent development. Moreover, the principle of “Being Integrated” has been well adopted in enterprise business, so that success is shared with partners through fair, just, transparent, and simple partner policies.
Innovating products and solutions for the enterprise market with leading 5G, cloud, and AI technologies
During the year, Huawei leveraged the synergy among cloud, AI, and 5G to provide public cloud services and hybrid cloud solutions that are stable, reliable and sustainable. HUAWEI CLOUD has launched more than 200 cloud services and 190 solutions, while more than 3 million enterprise users and developers currently use HUAWEI CLOUD to develop products and solutions.
Using Cloud as the base, Huawei has launched Huawei Horizon Digital Platform by integrating new ICT technologies including IoT, AI, big data, video, converged communications, and GIS to build a foundation for the future digital world. According to leading independent market research firm Dell’Oro Group, Huawei ranked No. 1 in the share of the global Wi-Fi 6 indoor AP market, excluding North America between the third quarters of 2018 and 2019, through its provision of quality services for customers from various sectors such as education, retail, healthcare, and manufacturing.
In addition, in 2019, Huawei launched CloudEngine 16800, the industry’s first data center switch built for the AI era, which has been commercially deployed in more than 150 enterprise data centers around the world. The three OptiXs, namely OptiXtrans, OptiXaccess, and OptiXstar, have been adopted by over 3,800 companies across 158 countries and regions. According to a Gartner’s report released in September 2019, Huawei’s storage products took up the Leaders’ zone of the Magic Quadrant. Huawei also released two flagship solutions for the enterprise market – HiCampus and HiDC– by relying on its cutting edge technologies in 5G, optical transmission, Internet Protocol (IP) networking, and AI technologies and making collaborative innovation across technological domains.
Helping governments and enterprises achieve digital transformation and accelerating development in different sectors
Huawei has a wealth of experience in helping governments and enterprises go digital. In areas such as smart city, campus, transportation, energy, manufacturing, and education, Huawei works with global partners to roll out innovative solutions and business models to create new value.
As of 2019, Huawei has partnered with more than 4,200 service providers serving over 50,000 customers around the world. The company has participated in smart city projects in more than 200 cities across over 40 countries and regions, as well as assisting more than 1,000 financial institutions with digital transformation in terms of inclusive finance, data-driven service innovation, and open banking. Huawei serves more than 170 urban rail lines in over 70 cities worldwide, striving to build integrated transportation systems for global cities. Building on the experience gained from its own digital transformation, Huawei has successfully built intelligent campuses for more than 300 customers. Through innovative ICT technologies, Huawei helps various sectors including manufacturing and energy reshape their manufacturing and value chains while boosting upgrade of their intelligent systems.
Powering enterprise partners and building a prosperous ecosystem
Huawei has established 13 OpenLabs worldwide to focus on the enterprise market. At these OpenLabs, partners receive support on the joint innovation of solutions, marketing, talent cultivation, finance, supply chains, and IT systems to continuously improve their capabilities and drive their transformation for shared success. Committed to sharing its experience, technology, and talent cultivation standards, Huawei has worked with a huge number of educational authorities, universities, and other ecosystem players from around the world to build an open and favorable ecosystem to cultivate ICT talents and drive industry digitization.
In the future, the integrated application of 5G, cloud, and AI will usher in a new world in which all things sense, stay connected, and act intelligent. Huawei will develop innovative products based on these technologies and provide solutions to fulfil customers’ needs. These solutions will support different industries with intelligence and help customers go digital for more potential development.
All financial statements in the 2019 Annual Report were independently audited by KPMG, an international Big Four accounting firm. To download the 2019 Annual Report, visit www.huawei.com/en/press-events/annual-report/2019
Tencent and United Nations announce global partnership to hold thousands of conversations online through platforms including VooV Meeting for the UN’s 75th anniversary
Tencent (00700.HK) and the United Nations (UN) today announced a new and innovative global partnership for the UN’s 75th anniversary, which will host thousands of online conversations through VooV Meeting (international version of Tencent Meeting), WeChat Work and Tencent Artificial Intelligence Simultaneous Interpretation (Tencent AI SI). This partnership means that amid the coronavirus pandemic, the largest global dialogue to date will be conducted with the technical support from one of the world’s largest Internet services and technology companies.
In celebration of the UN’s 75th anniversary (#UN75 campaign), Tencent and the United Nations are partnering to reach out to millions of people across the globe, aiming to listen to their thoughts on what the world should look like in 25 years and what role international cooperation should play in solving global challenges like climate change and pandemics such as the coronavirus. The United Nations is calling on people all around the world to engage in a global dialogue and empowering partners to organize and participate in online discussions of any scale with the help of Tencent’s VooV Meeting platform, WeChat Work, as well as Tencent AI SI.
“Global collaboration not only plays a vital role in human well-being and our future, but is also the key to fighting the current global pandemic. Tencent is honored to participate and facilitate UN75 global conversations. We will spare no effort in providing technical solutions to support online meetings and idea exchanges for the UN, with the aim of bringing the global village even closer together and overcoming global threats through extensive dialogue and cooperation.” said Martin Lau, President of Tencent.
As the entire world combats the Coronavirus pandemic, international cooperation and solidarity are more critical than ever. Tencent will provide the #UN75 campaign with videoconferencing and digital dialogue tools to boost the initiative’s online outreach and promotion among the public.
“As we are strengthening the UN75 initiative in the digital space and adapting to the current constraints, this partnership could not have been more timely and valuable. We are grateful to Tencent for their generous support to the UN75 initiative. Their dialogue tools and videoconferencing services will greatly enhance our capacity to reach out to more people across the globe. Tencent’s technology and global outreach is particularly important to reach young people. As one of the world’s largest tech companies, Tencent’s support for the UN75 campaign sets an important example,” said Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary.
Meanwhile, the #UN75 campaign is gathering solutions, opinions and concerns in solving critical global challenges, through online dialogues and its one-minute survey at www.un75.online. The survey will be disseminated and promoted through Tencent’s social networking, gaming, media, video and advertising platforms. The views and ideas generated will be presented to world leaders at a high-profile event during the 75th Session of the General Assembly in September 2020.
Tencent Meeting, the online platform supporting the #UN75 campaign, has over 10 million daily active users, becoming one of the most widely used video conferencing applications in China. Since its launch last December, Tencent Meeting has launched 14 updates within 40 days. Tencent Meeting also expanded its computing resources daily and used the added resources to scale up capacity by adding over 1 million CPU cores to the network with a total addition of more than 100,000 CVM within eight days, setting a new record in China’s cloud computing sector. VooV Meeting, the international version of Tencent Meeting, was made available online in over 100 countries and regions around the world.
Great Learning Launches ‘Great Learning Academy’
Great Learning, one of Asia’s leading or one of the leading global players with learners from 140 countries, today launched ‘Great Learning Academy’, an online repository that offers over 300 hours of high quality structured learning content across 40 courses focused on career critical skills. The Great Learning Academy has been envisioned to provide students and working professionals a starting point to begin their upskilling journey. Top courses being offered at the Academy include Analytics, Programming, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Digital Marketing, Big Data and Business Finance. On completion of each course, learners will also receive a certificate of completion from Great Learning.
The Great Learning Academy offers beginner and intermediate level courses in these domains interspersed with industry case studies, weekly live sessions and career preparation material. The courses will offer learners a flavour of what learning each skill deeply will entail and help them chart a career path according to their interests.
LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report for 2020 also puts “Artificial Intelligence Specialist” and “Data Scientist” at the top of the emerging jobs list, with over 74% and 34% hiring growth over the past four years. Even so, both of these fields come with a relatively high bar of entry and their own specialized skills clusters. This indicates that the idea of upskilling in new age skills has not yet penetrated deep enough when it comes to college students and working professionals. With Great Learning Academy, Great Learning is trying to change this by offering them a taste of how upskilling can work for them. The business value created by AI is expected to reach $3.9 trillion by 2022, according to Gartner (2018).
The faculty delivering these courses include Great Learning’s award winning faculty and leading industry practitioners. The courses cover the conceptual understanding of the topic, the tools and techniques commonly used and the application of these technologies across a host of industries, offering students a 360-degree view of each topic they choose to study.
Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder and CEO, Great Learning, said, “Great Learning Academy’s purpose is to offer everyone the opportunity to develop career critical skills relevant to this digital age. It provides access to high quality courses developed and delivered by award winning faculty members who are stalwarts in their respective fields. This initiative is an integral part of our belief that everyone willing to put in the effort needed to learn should have access to the best learning opportunities possible regardless of their economic situation. We encourage working professionals and students to take advantage of the Great Learning Academy to make the most of the present circumstances and be prepared to accelerate their careers in the future.”
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