Accend has gone live with Launch YC!

Pranjal Daga
June 5, 2024
August 29, 2023

Read the original Launch YC article here

TL;DR

Accend accelerates manual reviews and automatically generates regulatory reports for Ops & Compliance teams.

B2B Fintechs and BaaS providers utilize Accend to save hours per manual process, such as KYB applications, Disputes, Transaction Monitoring, etc. 

If you work in Ops & Compliance at fintechs, we’d love to chat with you. Please reach out at founders@withaccend.com

How we know this is a problem?

When we led Product & Engineering on Risk at Brex, we collaborated with Ops & Compliance teams on a daily basis. For Ops, one of the biggest pain points was declining Ops efficiency + quality of output. For Compliance, it was maintaining healthy relationships with banking partners and regulators. The reasons behind that were:

  1. Complex Processes: Expanding customer base led to complex reviews due to diverse profiles and services, complicating the process. Moreover, manual reviews are prone to errors and inefficiencies due to overwhelming data verification tasks.
  2. Regulatory Compliance Burden: Adhering to changing regulations in compliance (esp in KYC) required meticulous attention to detail, slowing down reviews.
  3. Scaling via Outsourced Ops Teams: We noticed a skills gap in outsourced teams regarding regulations and fintech processes, impacting review quality. Training them for consistency took significant time and investment.
  4. Time-Consuming Regulatory Reports: Creating detailed regulatory reports like Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) demanded significant time, complicated by language and cultural challenges, subsequently influencing the clarity and level of detail.

This posed 

  1. Business Risk - suboptimal customer experience at the time of onboarding and worse, rejection of a legitimate customer, thereby losing revenue. 
  2. Compliance Risk - hefty penalties (eg: Coinbase’s $100M fine), legal consequences, significant damage to the company's reputation, and even the potential loss of banking partnerships (existential crisis alert!).

We realized Brex wasn’t the only fintech dealing with such risks tied to manual reviews, and we started Accend to tackle these challenges head-on.

Our Solution

Our first use case is accelerating KYB manual reviews. It includes the following features:

Guided Review Workflow: Accend simplifies the KYC procedure by converting the Standard Operating Procedure into a user-friendly, step-by-step guided review process for both internal and external Operations professionals.

Streamlined Online Research: Instead of juggling numerous browser tabs to validate information about the business and its beneficial owners/controllers, Accend consolidates data through comprehensive web searches, presenting a summary for validation by Ops professionals.

Automated Due Diligence Reports: Traditionally, crafting a CDD/EDD report can take up to 2 hours. Accend automates this process, generating high-quality narrative reports in the company's required template, thus saving valuable Operations time on a daily basis.

Audit Logs: Accend establishes an audit trail for actions taken by Operations professionals and the automated processes during KYC manual reviews. This eliminates the need to scour various sources, extract logs, and document them, streamlining the auditing process

Why Accend?

With Accend, Fintechs can

  • Improve Ops’ quality of output with consistent procedures
  • Increase Ops’ efficiency with automation
  • Reduce cost in managing Ops teams 
  • Maintain healthy relationships with banking partners and regulators

Who are we?

Pranjal Daga was most recently the Product Manager on the Risk team at Brex where he reduced fraud losses by $20M and worked on disputes, declines, login friction, etc. Before that, he dropped out of his PhD in AI/ML at Purdue University to help set up Cisco Innovation Labs where he grew the team from 1 to 35 in 4 years.

Yutong Pei was most recently the Engineering Manager on the Fraud Risk team at Brex where he built the Disputes service, and worked on fraud controls by managing engineers and data scientists. Previously, he has led Fraud Engineering and Security for IoTeX, Uber, and Amazon. 

Joseph Zhou was most recently the CFO of a mobile gaming startup based in Singapore with a 50M ARR. He established the company’s licensed poker operation in Europe and scaled the team from 0 to 80 members, while also managing KYC, AML, compliance, responsible gaming, and fraud prevention.

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