Amsterdam-based Sentinels bags €5.7M from INKEF Capital to fight financial crime; here’s how


Recently, Amsterdam-based AI company Sentinels raised €5.7M funding in a Seed Round led by INKEF Capital, with participation from strategic angel investors and industry leaders including Thijn Lamers and Maikel Lobbezoo, members of the original Adyen team. To date, the company has raised €8.4M in funding. 

INKEF Capital is a venture capital firm based in Amsterdam, backing promising early-stage companies in Europe. INKEF has invested in GitLab, Remote, and Silverflow, among others.

The company is planning to use the funding to develop its product and expand operations into the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America, and APAC countries. 

Spin-out from Slimmer AI

Founded by Joost van Houten, 18 months ago, Sentinels spun off from Slimmer AI, a Groningen-based B2B AI venture studio. 

Joost van Houten, Founder and CEO of Sentinels, comments: “In less than five years, we’ve seen countless companies enter the compliance space and a 10x increase in the number of compliance staff – and yet money laundering still remains a significant challenge for financial institutions. 

According to the company, it supports fintech companies with its AI-driven transaction monitoring system, reducing repetitive tasks and workload. It was developed in response to the pressure from fintechs and traditional financial institutions regulators, to combat financial crimes including, money laundering and other illegal activity.

With its transaction monitoring systems, Sentinels analyses internal data silos and augment them with external sources like adverse media, sanctions lists, and merchant websites, to create a complete picture of the situation. 

Subsequently, expert logic, machine learning models, and graph networks then sieve out only on the truly suspicious cases. A smart workflow then helps to automate repetitive tasks and make better decisions. The entire compliance process is simplified to one API.

“The big issue is that legacy technology is increasingly out-of-step with the needs of fintechs and other fast-growing institutions. Excessive reports and an unacceptably high number of false alarms puts undue resourcing pressure on companies that should be targeting growth, instead of being waylaid by time-consuming compliance admin,” he concludes.  

The company serves a range of clients including Mollie, Terrapay, Online Payment Platform, Ginger Payments, and ManoBank among its roster of clients.

Partnerships, and new appointments

A few days back, VIALET, a Lithuanian fintech banking app, announced its partnership with Sentinels to deliver flexible transaction monitoring suitable for challenger’s needs. Further, the company also appointed Sumit Arora as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Ibrahim Ennali as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), last month. 

The Dutch startup Sentinels has secured a place in the finals of Generation 3 of the Blue Tulip Awards under the Finance & Prosperity category. The finals are set to take place on June 17th through a virtual event.

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