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EDBI invests in fraud protection fintech, Vesta

The funding, along with a strategic alignment with EDBI, will accelerate Vesta's push to expand its fraud and approval enhancement platform.

Singaporean Fraud-protection fintech Vesta has secured a strategic investment from EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Economic Development Board, to help power its plans for growth in the Asia Pacific sub-region.

Vesta, which will locate its regional headquarters in Singapore, said the funding, along with a strategic alignment with EDBI, will accelerate the company's push to expand its fraud and approval enhancement platform across the Asia Pacific (APAC). The amount of the investment was however not disclosed.

Vesta also recently raised US$125 million (S$172 million) in new growth capital from private equity firm Goldfinch Partners to help fund its growth globally.

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Founded in 1995 in the United States, Vesta said it enables companies to grow their online businesses by eliminating the fear of fraud. Its platform - built on data science and machine learning - analyses customers' online payment transactions to assess the risk of fraud. With its payment guarantee, Vesta also takes on the risk and liability of fraudulent transactions from its customers, which are firms in the telecommunications and e-commerce industries.

As growth in e-commerce transactions continues to accelerate across the region, fraud poses a challenge for organisations, said Vesta. According to the 2019 Experian Identity and Fraud Report, online fraud losses increased by 50 per cent of surveyed businesses in APAC in the past year.

Despite the growth of fraud, most organisations are still reliant on reactive strategies, using manual safeguards and low-tech models with high operating costs to manage these events, resulting in lost revenue and poor consumer experiences, said Vesta.

"APAC is a region that has an immediate need for our firm's solutions and it was a natural choice to make Singapore our regional headquarters,"

Shabab Muhaddes, Vesta's general manager for Asia Pacific, said in a joint announcement with EDBI on Tuesday (Aug 4).

"We are thrilled to partner with EDBI and be part of their portfolio family, and we are looking forward to working together to build and grow partnerships across the region," he said.

Africa's payments space will definitely benefit from a similar solution tailored for Africa's sub-regions.