Estonian anti-money-laundering startup Salv secures seed funding

Estonian anti-money-laundering startup Salv secures seed funding
By bne IntelliNews December 9, 2019

The Estonian start-up Salv, which targets money laundering, has raised $2mn (€1.8mn), the company said last week.

FlyVentures, Passion Capital, and Seedcamp provided the bulk of the financing, with a number of angel investors also chipping in. Salv, which was founded by former employees of TransferWise and Skype – both worldwide-renowned tech companies that also originated in Estonia – offers solutions to banks to help fight financial crime. 

The ambition should resonate well in Estonia and in the Baltic region, where a number of banks, such as the big Scandinavian brands Swedbank and Danske Bank, have been embroiled in money laundering scandals. Both Swedbank and Danske Bank are facing investigations for unaccounted money flows through their Estonian branches. 

Another Baltic state, Latvia, is also striving to improve its reputation as an entry point into the EU for dirty money from the east, Russia in particular.

“The idea, says co-founder and CEO [of Salv] Taavi Tamkivi, is to move [anti-money laundering measures] beyond just compliance to something more proactive that actually does defeat crime,” Tech Crunch reported.

“Today, between $1 trillion to $2 trillion a year is still laundered. The excessive regulations mean that nearly all of a bank’s compliance team’s effort goes into compliance. They have very little energy left to actually focus on improving their financial crime-fighting abilities. The software they’re using is similar, focused almost wholly on compliance, not crime-fighting,” Tamkivi told Tech Crunch.