Greg Watson, CEO of Napier AI, outlines the company’s plans following £45m investment

Greg Watson, CEO of Napier AI, outlines the company's plans following £45m investment

Following the close of a £45m capital injection, London-based RegTech Napier AI has its eyes set on helping firms get ready for the future of compliance.

Greg Watson, CEO of Napier AI, recently commented on the company’s journey and the most pressing issues financial institutions currently face in regard to anti-money laundering (AML).

Napier recently secured £45m in funding from Crestline Investors, with the aim of bolstering the development of its next-generation screening and monitoring solutions to financial institutions.

The investment round marked the first external capital raised by Napier AI. It has come during a period of strong growth for the RegTech, which has recorded over 30% year-on-year revenue growth since 2021.

Watson commented that while FinTech funding has hit a rocky patch, there will always be a budget for compliance. This is particularly the case for the UK, where the regulator is trying to remove its reputation of being the ‘dirty money capital of Europe’, he said.

Napier’s funding round has come at a time when Napier is looking to bolster its solutions and explore further innovation in the world of AI. He said, “The financial crime compliance industry is undergoing a transformation, and this funding will empower us to continue developing NextGen screening and monitoring solutions that are essential in today’s regulatory landscape.”

Napier AI is a RegTech platform founded in 2015. The company offers cutting-edge AML solutions across banking, payments, and wealth & asset management industries. Its software enables customers to effectively screen, monitor, and identify criminal or suspicious activities, significantly reducing financial, reputational, and regulatory risks, as well as operational overheads. Watson noted that Napier is proud to be founded and led by a team of AML practitioners that know the challenges faced by those working within financial institutions and what they need to make a difference within their compliance processes.

AI is at the heart of Napier, and is embedded in everything it does, Watson explained. The technology stack has always generated a lot of hype, but the past couple of years has seen it reach new heights, thanks to the excitement around generative AI. However, its use within AML is still not as common. As it should be. Watson believes that AI-powered AML use cases are still yet to be explored by most financial institutions. This has, in part, been caused by the hesitance of regulators to allow AI’s use within AML, but they are now unleashing banks to deploy AI, as long as it is highly explainable.

Watson said, “We prioritise compliance-first AI-driven AML solutions that drive real value for our customers. Our AI drives automation of financial institutions strategies, without taking the human out of the loop. We pride ourselves in being smarter, faster, and trusted by leading financial institutions and regulators in everything from our technology to our deployment, to our innovations. Our solutions can be smoothly deployed with minimal disruption; we have helped clients go live in as little as 21 days. We will continue to invest in our AI research and development, with a pipeline of new product features focused on further automation for compliance teams.”

Another focal point of Napier’s strategy is directly collaborating with regulators. The RegTech company has a working relationship with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to ensure its solutions align with the evolving regulatory landscape. This means clients will always get the most effective tools for compliance, he explained.

On a final note, Watson commented on the future of the financial crime compliance landscape. He noted that the space is evolving rapidly and includes a host of different entities beyond traditional banks. He said, “As regulatory pressures intensify, these diverse financial institutions must prioritise robust compliance measures.”

He is confident that Napier is positioned to serve the expanded market through tailored solutions that cater to organisations in different stages of their compliance journey. “Our recent announcement about our new solution offerings, Napier AI Continuum Live and Napier AI Continuum flow underlines this. Napier AI Continuum Live creates an attractive offering for these newly regulated entities (neo banks, new payment fintechs, wealth & asset management firms) who tend to have low volumes now but need to prepare for hyper scale. And Napier AI Continuum Flow is for large financial institutions that have already invested heavily in custom or self-built case management to access next generation screening and monitoring capabilities, driven by AI, within their existing workflow.”

Watson concluded by stating that customer satisfaction has a pivotal role in Napier’s strategy. “Customer feedback is not merely a metric for us; it’s a compass guiding our product offerings, to ensure that our solutions remain adaptive and always one step ahead of the criminals.” In 2024, Napier plans to focus on building a world class, AI-powered transaction monitoring solution that’s compliance first.

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