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Sandbar Raises $4.8M to Combat Financial Crime with Institutional-Grade Transaction Monitoring Software

Backed by leaders at Ramp, Stripe, Plaid, Square, OpenAI, and more, the company’s SaaS product identifies suspicious financial behaviors and automates workflows, while mitigating alert fatigue and significantly reducing engineering expenses

NEW YORK, January 24, 2023-- Sandbar, a provider of anti-money laundering, fraud and counter-terrorism risk detection software, today announced the availability of its product and a $4.8 million seed investment led by Lachy Groom and Abstract Ventures. Other participating investors include BoxGroup, as well as more than 45 angel investors including founders and executives from Ramp, Stripe, OpenAI, Plaid, Square and more. The funding will be used to further develop the product, expand the pipeline, and support customers as Sandbar continues to accelerate growth following the public launch of the product.

Anti-money laundering (AML) technology has long been a critical component of the fintech ecosystem. The importance of AML has grown in recent times due to an increase in large-scale fraud and money laundering cases and regulatory pressure on organizations to improve their AML risk management practices. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is one example of a regulatory body demanding better AML risk management from financial institutions. These organizations are required by law to monitor transactions for illicit activity, but many are failing to do so effectively. Despite $270 billion dollars invested in AML efforts, trillions of dollars are still laundered annually, and less than 1% of these cases are detected. Traditional AML systems, such as those based on Excel or various vendor solutions, are prone to vulnerabilities and provide incomplete or inaccurate risk assessments, allowing threats to go undetected. This leads to a waste of time and resources for banks and governments as they struggle to identify suspicious activity using unreliable insights.

Sandbar recently launched its product to allow organizations to fortify their AML program identifying risks and providing more effective models to accurately identify suspicious behavior across products and services. By offering an API-based plug-and-play solution for financial products and services, Sandbar reduces the need for time-consuming and expensive engineering resources, and consolidates multiple compliance products to save organizations time and money – a critical benefit given today’s economic volatility, and buyers’ desire to consolidate vendors and cut costs.

“At Sandbar, we’re building what I wish I’d had access to as a global financial crimes analyst: a system that removes complexity and redundant, manual effort, providing accurate, up-to-date information so analysts can resolve more cases without doing all of the heavy lifting,” said Brandon Bontrager, co-founder and CCO at Sandbar. “Most systems treat risk as a discrete concept, using fixed rules and thresholds that can do more harm than good. Sandbar represents risk as the organic, holistic concept that it is. We take an intuitive, flexible approach that provides context and actionable guidance to analysts, while also centralizing underlying data and risk factors to reveal the bigger picture and eliminate repeated flagging of already identified and dismissed false positives.”

Core Sandbar capabilities include:

• Flexible, off-the-shelf and custom rules for 100+ typologies and 10+ products
• Simplified case management system with automated context and workflows
• Ongoing screening against watchlists like OFAC, and client-defined lists
• Suspicious Activity Report preparation capabilities
• Multi-currency support
• Key metrics for monitoring overall performance, rules, and more
• Access to raw data tables for further investigation
• Network of expert consultants for ongoing support

“Transaction monitoring is tough, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s the foundation of any successful AML program, and it’s most effective for the financial institution and broader ecosystem when it’s easy to integrate, understand, and use. It’s unfortunate to see still so many risk and compliance teams resource-constrained and dependent on manual tools, especially now. With limited tools and increased regulations, fintechs and banks are vulnerable to threats and falling short of their regulatory obligations. With a simple integration, Sandbar provides access to holistic, scalable, and defensible transaction monitoring across financial products and services so organizations can scale their business safely.,” Brock Bontrager, co-founder and CEO at Sandbar.

Leaders from Stripe, Coinbase and Visa tout Sandbar’s unique ability to present transaction monitoring as an intuitive, plug-and-play experience. “Sandbar’s accuracy, immediacy of alerts, automated suggestions and built-in education allow companies of all sizes to scale their AML efforts with less and avoid costly penalties – all within one, cohesive solution,” explained solo-GP and former Stripe executive Lachy Groom.

Sandbar is available now for any B2C or B2B company that moves money directly or indirectly. For AML teams and engineers, Sandbar testing environments are available in minutes. For access and more information, please visit www.sandbar.ai.

About Sandbar

Sandbar is a New York City-based fintech startup that provides anti-money laundering, fraud, and counter-terrorism risk detection software. Sandbar’s holistic models and proprietary integrations enable organizations to quickly and accurately identify suspicious financial behaviors, prioritize alerts, and automate tedious casework so they can scale their business safely. Sandbar is backed by founders, early employees, and executives at companies like OpenAI, Credit Karma, Google, Figma, and more. For more information, please visit www.sandbar.ai.

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