With Investment From WorldPay, UK Machine Learning Fraud Protection Company Plans Move to Atlanta

UK-based fraud protection company Featurespace has raised a $21.6M (£16.5M) funding round with participation from global payment processing company WorldPay as a new investor. The round was led by European venture firm Highland Europe with further support from new and existing investors, including Atlanta-based TTV Capital.

“The funding from Highland Europe and our other investors, and commercial relationships with companies like Worldpay, show the need to deliver increased intelligence into the fraud mix,” says Dave Excell, co-founder and CTO of Featurespace. “It will help us rapidly deploy this innovative technology to the U.S. as we have in Europe for the past decade — through partnerships that enable financial services companies to provide a better service and protection to their consumers.”

First developed at Cambridge University, Featurespace’s machine learning platform uses adaptive behavioral analytics to detect anomalies in individual behaviors, catching fraud attacks in real-time. The platform aims to address the fast-growing fraud detection and prevention market worth $14.23 billion as of September 2017.

“Today’s consumers expect seamless and faster payment transactions in the context of a fraud-free experience,” said Excell. “While no one technology can completely eliminate fraud, machine learning is playing an increasingly important role in detecting fraud as it happens and reducing the costs typically associated with this process.”

Through this newly-formed partnership, Worldpay will work closely with Featurespace to add on more intelligent payment features to its Enterprise Data Platform and further develop fraud and risk management products for its global customer base of around 400,000. The partnership will have one main goal in mind — to better protect merchants in the ongoing fight against fraud.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Featurespace, a business with world-class machine learning technology,” says Mark Kimber, Worldpay’s Chief Information Officer. “We are always looking to work with innovative companies and are confident that this partnership will deliver superior outcomes for our customers, by preventing more fraudulent transactions whilst reducing the number of genuine transactions that are declined.”

“We’ve been incredibly impressed by the evolution of this business and believe it has the potential to grow significantly. With our investment in the company, we are looking forward to supporting the Featurespace team as they grow their business and capabilities,” says Kimber.

Soon, WorldPay and Featurespace will share a home in “Transaction Alley” — the greater Atlanta metro area which contains more than 60 percent of global payment processing companies. Featurespace has a U.S. office in Charlotte, North Carolina, but is actively looking for space in Atlanta.

Excell says this will be an advantageous position for the company as its U.S. business and client base grows. Excell is currently in Atlanta, securing office space and recruiting for Featurespace’s sales team in anticipation for their upcoming launch in the city in early November.

“We have strategically positioned our U.S. headquarters in Atlanta to be close to our investors, clients and at the epicenter of innovation for the payments industry. We’re confident this proximity will help drive our global expansion,” says Excell.