Farnoush Mirmoeini, co-founder of KYC Hub

Farnoush Mirmoeini

Interview with Farnoush Mirmoeini, co-founder of KYC Hub

Farnoush Mirmoeini is a distinguished co-founder of KYC Hub, where she holds key responsibilities in product management, AI/data science, and growth strategy.

With a wealth of expertise spanning over a decade, she has garnered extensive experience in the realms of AI, quantitative financial and risk modeling.

Farnoush’s proficiency in these fields is evidenced by her authorship of multiple papers on AI applications.

Prior to her involvement with KYC Hub, Farnoush made significant contributions at various start-ups, honing her skills and expanding her knowledge base.

Her exceptional capabilities led her to join HSBC, where she spearheaded the development of innovative models for inflation swaps.

Her impactful work extended beyond her immediate team, as she collaborated with senior risk leaders, garnering their support and inspiring a broader collective effort within the organization.

Farnoush Mirmoeini’s track record exemplifies her ability to navigate complex domains, leveraging cutting-edge technologies, and driving transformative initiatives.

Her leadership qualities, combined with her technical prowess, have positioned her as a notable figure in the industry.

Tell us a little about yourself

Farnoush Mirmoeini: Hello, I’m Farnoush Mirmoeini, the co-founder of KYC Hub. With over 15 years of experience in STEM and a deep passion for efficiency, I’ve dedicated my career to the practical technological adoption of artificial intelligence and computing in the fight against financial crime.

At KYC Hub, I lead product management, data science, and the company’s growth strategy, focusing on creating solutions that empower companies to make better and more efficient decisions.

With a diverse academic background, spanning from Engineering School at The University of British Columbia to the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and even further to the London Business School, my journey has been an exciting one.

After completing my master’s degree in a highly mathematical branch of telecommunication engineering in Canada, I was eager to apply my knowledge to the world of financial markets.

That’s when I joined a late-stage fintech startup as a quant in Canada, before eventually moving to London.

Working with tier-one banks at the intersection of technology, finance, and mathematics, I began to see the incredible potential that advances in computing and artificial intelligence could have on the banking and finance industry.

As my career progressed, I realized that there was a pressing need for better solutions to mitigate financial crime risk.

My experience in the fintech sector exposed me to the challenges and inefficiencies in the fight against financial crime, prompting me to seek solutions.

Despite the advancements in AI, ML, and automation, I discovered that many compliance and back-office systems still used outdated tools.

This realization was an “aha” moment for me. As such, I co-founded KYC Hub with the mission to empower organizations to use AI and automation tools to build better financial crime risk management systems.

Can you share with us the inspiration behind starting KYC Hub and your personal journey in the fintech industry?

Farnoush Mirmoeini: Starting KYCHub was driven by a clear market need. I noticed the challenges businesses faced with customer verification and regulatory compliance and saw an opportunity to create a user-friendly, affordable, and effective solution.

In 2019, my co-founder and I invested our own capital and time to develop a robust KYC and AML solution using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Once we had a working product, we used our network to gain our first customers. This initial market validation increased our credibility and helped us secure seed funding from a UK investor.

The journey of starting KYC Hub has been challenging but rewarding, and it’s been incredible to see our idea turn into a product that’s now helping businesses worldwide combat financial crime.

Kindly brief us about KYC Hub, its specialization, and the services that it offers

Farnoush Mirmoeini: We started KYC Hub in 2018 with the mission to enable organizations to mitigate the risk of financial crime and reduce costs through an automated and configurable risk ops infrastructure and better data insights.

Since our inception, we’ve been recognized with a number of major industry awards, including the “Best PEP and Sanctions Solution” by Regtech Insights USA and Regtech 100.

These accolades are a testament to our commitment to excellence and innovation in the field of financial technology.

Our products are designed to not only make this process accurate and seamless but also to create new opportunities by truly knowing your customers and serving them in the best way possible.

Our flagship product is a comprehensive customer onboarding, monitoring, and compliance platform. This platform offers a suite of automated and modular tools, along with advanced data and insights, that empower compliance teams to protect against fraud and financial crime.

We’ve built a global knowledge graph of high-risk individuals and entities, and we use deep learning and computer vision in data acquisition and transformation, as well as network detection.

Our customers are organizations that require robust, efficient, and technologically advanced solutions for customer due diligence and financial crime risk management.

We are a truly global company, serving clients across diverse regions around the world. With operations spanning the United Kingdom, India, and Singapore in Asia, as well as a significant presence in North America, specifically in the United States and Canada, we are well-equipped to handle the needs of our clients.

Additionally, our reach extends to the EMEA region. Our diverse and global client base is a point of pride for us, and we are committed to providing them with the best solutions to combat financial crime.

The fintech industry has traditionally been male-dominated. How has your experience been as a female founder in this space, and what initiatives are you taking to promote gender diversity within your company and the broader fintech community?

Farnoush Mirmoeini: I was having this conversation with a fellow female founder, and we were feeling like there are not enough female applicants for fintech jobs, to begin with.

At times, women self-select out of more male-dominated industries, and I think this is the biggest thing that has to change.

I believe companies, both large and small, must be educated about diversity and inclusion, and not just about women, but also about people with different abilities.

This is not just about the hiring process, but about the informal culture around technology, both within a company’s formal and informal structure, as well as technology events, conferences, etc.

At KYC Hub we make sure people’s voices are heard and they are seen and appreciated, and some of our fastest promotions in the company have been young women.

I strongly believe in measures to improve equality, diversity, and inclusion, and I think everyone should invest in measures to encourage more diversity in the industry. It will give huge dividends in the long run.

What sets KYC Hub apart from other KYC solution providers in the market? What are the unique features or advantages that make your platform stand out?

Farnoush Mirmoeini: KYC Hub stands out in the industry by specifically targeting prevalent and costly pain points in the current financial crime risk mitigation landscape.

Our primary aim is to dramatically reduce the volume of false positives in financial crime alerts. Currently, a significant portion of a compliance department’s resources is wasted on low-impact and low-risk false positive alerts.

Our proprietary system significantly improves entity resolution, reducing the number of false positives and thereby increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of risk mitigation processes.

Secondly, we are addressing the lengthy and often frustrating onboarding and account opening processes faced by customers.

By leveraging technology and automation, we streamline these procedures, making them quicker and more user-friendly, which significantly reduces customer drop-off rates and associated costs.

Furthermore, we help firms navigate the risks of fines and non-compliance associated with ad-hoc processes and missed risks.

Our solution provides an enhanced understanding of the unique risk exposures faced by each business model.

This empowers firms to monitor and manage these risks more efficiently and effectively, ensuring better compliance and minimizing the risk of penalties.

What differentiates us from other businesses in the industry is our deep investment in technology, specifically automation and modularity, which enables us to deliver a uniquely efficient and effective solution.

Our approach is not just about delivering a service; it’s about driving a shift in the industry, offering tools that enable our clients to make better and more efficient decisions.

What was the inspiration behind turning into an entrepreneur?

Farnoush Mirmoeini: Entrepreneurs often identify problems or unmet needs in the market and are driven to find innovative solutions.

They are inspired by the opportunity to make a difference by addressing challenges and improving people’s lives through their products or services.

Having worked in the banking industry for several years, I have seen how AML fines cause reputational damages and at the same time, I have seen how inefficiencies and manual processes cause high costs, customer frustration, and missed risks.

We started KYC Hub because she believes intelligent automation and a risk-driven approach can overhaul compliance and save the industry from skyrocketing costs and AML fines.

In what ways is KYC Hub leveraging emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, or blockchain to enhance its KYC processes? What benefits do these technologies bring to your platform?

Farnoush Mirmoeini: Our technology is based on AI and intelligent automation. We use AI extensively to gain insights from internal and external data using NLP and deep learning for entity resolution and network risk detection, as well as transaction pattern recognition to detect fraud and money laundering patterns.

We also use RPA and computer vision technologies to automate manual processes, verify IDs and biometrics, and detect identity fraud.

  • What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the fintech industry or launch their own fintech startups?
  1. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failures map out the later successes. As cliché as it sounds, what matters is how many times you get up and try again, not how many times you fail.
  2. Don’t chase existing business models and already successful products by adding marginal features. Try to think radically and create a new market.
  3. Have a clear reason “why” you are starting a business. Start something you are passionate about. This will help you navigate the times when things aren’t going exactly the way you thought they would.

What are your success tips for women entrepreneurs?

Farnoush Mirmoeini: I would recommend reading a lot because this has helped me quickly digest and assess new ideas. I read blogs on product management, growth marketing, and technology, and listen to several podcasts.

Another piece of advice would be to Develop and empower people so that they can grow and manage different streams.

A company cannot grow with a perfectionist founder who wants to be at the center of everything. Recruiting and investing in the right people is critical for growth.

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