Illicit trade drains $2.2 trillion a year from the global economy.
Vistalworks has developed risk scoring and data analytics technology that helps law enforcement and regulators detect illegal sellers and illicitly traded goods online. We have paying customers in the form of HMRC, Police Scotland and Trading Standards Scotland.
Our data technology identifies illegal products and sellers operating openly online, warning consumers and enforcement agencies about smuggled, counterfeit, unlicensed, dangerous, faked and banned products.
We are now evolving our underpinning technology into a FinTech proposition, to enable regulatory enforcement around money laundering and illegal financial flows, and to potentially block very high risk online transactions to illegal sellers and organised criminals on mainstream ecommerce platforms (of which there are very many).
In 2021 we’ll launch an automated service to feed banks & payment providers with machine learning generated risk scores to identify non-compliant, illicit sellers.
By alerting on and potentially blocking very high-risk transactions before they occur, we can actively reduce the volume of online illicit trade, money laundering, and the associated costs and illegal financial flows – we believe a reduction of €10billion a year is achievable by year five (representing a 0.45% reduction on current global levels).
Our target market is banks, payment providers, payments processors and banking/payments services, beginning with UK banks like RBS, EU-operators like Santander, and global players like Mastercard and Worldpay. Our solution will also be applicable to non-traditional payments technologies.
Vistalworks was formed in response to a 2018 Scottish Government innovation challenge to reduce demand for illicit goods online, after enforcement agencies realised that targeting the supply-side alone could not sufficiently reduce growing global volumes of online illicit trade.
Having just had her debit card and bank account breached after accidentally buying a dodgy pair of Converse Trainers online, CEO/founder Vicky Brock realised that there was a whole area of financial crime – and consumer protection – that could be serviced by preventative data analytics, but wasn’t.
Research showed that Illicit trade is complex, cross-border and without a single departmental owner in governments and law enforcement, and so typically gets de-prioritised compared to terrorism, despite the two being very closely interlinked.
Having spent her career in data analytics and risk-scoring technologies (including with Google, Tesco Clubcard and Legal and General), Vicky felt well placed to solve the problem posed by the Scottish Government, and more importantly protect other shoppers like her in the future.
She approached two co-founders, with backgrounds in cyber security, finance and product delivery, and together they won the innovation challenge and went on to build Vistalworks and launch commercial solutions to illicit trade prevention. That solution is now in commercial use and being welcomed by global corporates and industry bodies, national and EU agencies and specialist international groups like the UN Illicit Trade Forum.
In order to keep trading with EU agencies, and to keep seamless cross border data flow, we have formed a sister company in Estonia and work closely with Enterprise Estonia.
COVID-19 has seen illicit trade explode, even as the legitimate economy contracts – we have unprecedented potential for growth, and see scaling as a FinTech as the way to have highest social and economic impact.
Founder/CEO Vicky Brock won Inspiring Woman of the Year at the 2019 Scotland Women in Tech Awards, and Innovator of the Year at the Everywoman in Technology Awards. This is her 5th data startup, her previous software company was named Top Tech Startup by the European Commission. A trained data analyst, she is a Board Director Emeritus of the Digital Analytics Association & NXD of Open Knowledge.
Vicky Brock, CEO and co-founder, firstname.lastname@example.org 07940 735354
Founder/Chief Product Oﬃcer, Stephen Budd, has been responsible for creating and delivering innovative, award-winning data-driven products to market, ranging from retail analytics to ﬁnancial services (London Stock Exchange) and cybersecurity.
Stephen Budd, Chief Product Officer and co-founder, email@example.com
Founder/FD Alan Murray has built and exited multiple multi-million-pound businesses with Wood Mackenzie and EY, harnessing the power of diverse datasets for government, banking & corporate clients.
Alan Murray, FD and co-founder, firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical, product and marketing team of 7 additional employees.