ThetaRay, a big data analytics company based in Hod HaSharon, Israel, today announced that it raised more than $30 million in a funding round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), GE, Bank Hapoalim, OurCrowd, SVB Investments, and others. That puts its fundraising total to date at about $60 million.
“In this era when criminal activity and money laundering are increasing and becoming more sophisticated and also regulation is on the rise, there is a greater demand for our solutions,” Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay, said in a statement. “As the amount of digital information grows, you just can’t protect it without artificial intelligence systems. ThetaRay offers the most advanced and mature solutions to detect threats before they happen.”
ThetaRay, which was founded in 2013, uses artificial intelligence to help financial institutions, cybersecurity divisions, and critical infrastructure “become more resilient” to threats like risk management, money laundering schemes, fraud, and operational issues. The company’s platform — the brainchild of professors Amir Averbuch and Ronald Coifman of Tel-Aviv University and Yale, respectively — leverages unsupervised machine learning and a “multi-domain” approach to data collection to detect anomalies, reduce false positives, and self-improve.
“Some people might say it’s a scary world, and we believe there is a need for machines to identify threats. Human beings are not enough to look at all this data, and we’re lucky to have tens of years of academic research to analyze all those … transactions,” Gazit told VentureBeat in an interview.
ThetaRay’s solution runs offsite or in the cloud, and it’s able to tell when something is amiss — like when a checking account holder in the U.S. suddenly withdraws funds in Mogadishu, or when a known money launderer attempts to wire funds to a complicit insider — in real time. ThetaRay claims it has a 100 percent money laundering detection rate in more than 200 million transactions, and that it’s flagged novel fraud patterns on millions of ATM sessions across the globe.
ThetaRay currently handles cybersecurity for power plants, airlines, banks. With the fresh infusion of capital, it plans to expand its presence in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. and “substantially” increase its workforce.