Sardine raises $19.5 million to continue growth and product development

Sardine announced $19.5 million in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz, NYCA, and Experian Ventures to enable companies to protect customers from financial fraud.

Sardine funding

Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Angela Strange joins XYZ’s Ross Fubini on the Sardine board of directors. Funding comes amid strong growth and company momentum. Since its launch last Spring, Sardine now powers over 50 customers, including some of the largest neobanks (Brex and Chipper Cash), fast growing crypto exchanges (FTX, Luno, and Bakkt), and global NFT and crypto platforms (Abra, Transak, MoonPay, and Candy Digital). Funds will be used for continued growth, as well as to further product development and hiring aggressively in the coming months.

Additionally, the company announced that it has extended its industry-leading fraud prevention platform to now enable instant bank ACH transfers for crypto on-ramps. This removes the traditional 3-7 day waiting period for consumers before they gain access to their funds while Sardine assumes all fraud, regulatory compliance, and legal risks. By providing the industry’s most comprehensive fraud prevention in one API, Sardine delivers the fastest and safest way to on-ramp crypto.

Sardine’s platform, developed by a team of Coinbase, Revolut, Google Pay, Bolt, and PayPal veterans who uniquely understand the pain and expenses associated with fintech fraud, has already been proven to stop 3x more fraud than legacy e-commerce fraud products.

Sardine is uniquely suited to provide Instant ACH transfers based on its core technology, which uses AI to provide a real-time fraud score based on the user’s identity, device, and behavior patterns at the time of account origination and account funding. It also continuously monitors for fraud during account login, deposits, and withdrawals. Customers simply integrate Sardine’s SDK into their web or mobile apps, and Sardine handles the rest.

“It’s an amazing time, as the very concept of money is being reinvented with the rise of fintech and crypto digital wallets,” said Soups Ranjan, CEO and co-founder of Sardine. “However, it is still a very frustrating experience for customers that expect to instantly move money from legacy banks into their new fintech, crypto, DeFi, or NFT wallets. It is incredibly hard to establish trust in whether someone is using their own bank account to load money into a wallet or a stolen one. Sardine has built a behavior-based platform which uses tens of thousands of data points about a user’s behavior and combines that with dozens of data sources, ranging from phone and email to social media and blockchain analytics, to establish a real-time trust score,” he added. “Today, we can eliminate all of the complexity associated with payment fraud by offering indemnification against fraud losses during money load events.”

“Our investment in Sardine is perfectly aligned to Experian’s fraud capabilities and our work to stop fraud in digital commerce and payments,” said Kathleen Peters, Chief Innovation Officer, Experian Decision Analytics in North America. “Sardine is on the path to being a market leader in preventing financial crime with their talented team and innovative products. Experian is always looking for new investments and partners that can bring groundbreaking technology and problem-solving solutions to the market.”

Every company will be a fintech company unless fraud kills them first

“Every company with a payments component faces the same problem: the momentum-killing wait time between when the customer transfers money to your platform and when they can actually use that money on your service to transact,” said Andreessen Horowitz’s Angela Strange. “Sardine solves this issue in order to keep financial transactions moving for the good of all. Its value proposition becomes even clearer when you consider that every company is rapidly becoming a fintech company.”

With a shift underway to mobile-first, digital only banks, customers increasingly demand faster, easier ways to access their funds. On top of this, every company is moving to offer an assortment of digital payment options and product offerings designed to increase customer engagement. Yet for digital banks to overtake traditional brick and mortars, and for a range of companies to deliver financial solutions, becoming fintechs themselves, they each must figure out how to move money safely and quickly. Sardine helps these companies get to market faster and simplifies their fraud operations.

“When I evaluated over 10 industry leading providers in the fraud, risk, and KYC space to find the ideal long-term strategic partner for Candy Digital, Sardine was the clear choice. Sardine’s founders and leadership team are true industry experts and have the knowledge and technical expertise that we needed for us to properly mitigate risk in an ever-changing complex ecosystem (Crypto/NFT).

Sardine was the only technology company that innovated all of the best-in-class technologies, features, systems, and engines that were critical for us, and that will now allow us to leverage one platform for all of our fraud, risk, KYC, and identity verification needs. Sardine outperforms the industry in almost every way, and I can say firsthand that Sardine would be my first recommendation for any company looking for an all-in-one world-class fraud, risk, and KYC vendor,” said Matt Vega, 3CI, CFCI, ECFE, Head of Fraud & Risk at Candy Digital, Inc.

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