Innovation is a fundamental part of BNP Paribas’ corporate culture. This focus recently...
KYC3: a solution devoted to risk management
KYC3 (Know Your Customer, Counterparty and Competition) is one of the startups taking part in the first edition of L’Atelier BNP Paribas Lab’s FinTech Accelerator. With a complete and finished solution, KYC3 had already garnered several awards before joining the Lab, which provided the technical backing KYC3 needed to penetrate the French market. Jed Grant, the startup’s founder, tells us about the past four months spent in a stimulating environment.
KYC3 seems a far cry from the typical startup: a young company just "starting out" with a project still in development. Is your company really a startup?
It’s true that when we joined L’Atelier BNP Paribas’ FinTech Accelerator, we already had a finished product and commercial offer. But KYC3 is still a young company, founded in 2014.
In fact, the product was already so mature because it is the culmination of a technology and an idea I’ve been developing since 2009. I had enough time to design a first prototype, before starting to develop the current system in 2012.
What was the idea you spent so much time refining?
When I worked in banking and insurance, I saw that it required a huge amount of analysis, both in terms of risk management and economic intelligence. That involved a massive volume of documents and fastidious labor performed by hand.
I thought up a solution capable of processing text just as a human would, by taking advantage of new technologies such as machine learning and big data, which frees up analysts to focus on more valuable tasks. The next closest system, IBM’s Watson, is a generic system: using the same underlying technology, I’ve developed a solution devoted to risk management.
How did you find out about L'Atelier BNP Paribas Lab's FinTech Accelerator?
I was looking for an Accelerator program in France. KYC3 had earned several awards and distinctions, and had already taken part in an accelerator in Switzerland, but we needed support to penetrate the French market. So I presented my project in Paris and was selected to join L’Atelier BNP Paribas’s Accelerator.
What did you gain from the 4 months with the Accelerator?
They know how to “navigate” the BNP Paribas Group and work with the challenges facing startups. They serve as a bridge between two worlds and act as mediators before joining the FinTech Accelerator, KYC3 was already in touch with BNP Paribas. But signing a contract with a major international group remains a difficult process for startups. Now our path is clear, and our expertise is recognized within BNP Paribas: getting selected to join the Accelerator is already a form of recognition and validation.
The WAI environment is positive and stimulating!
Employees at L’Atelier BNP Paribas Lab are efficient and professional, so that productive collaboration can bloom. I also appreciated the opportunity to meet with other startups and receive feedback on our project from other designers. The WAI environment is positive and stimulating!
“ The Accelerator offers so many opportunities.”
Founder of KYC3
What stage are you at now?
We launched a fundraising campaign so we can hire experts in big data, content analysis and natural language processing, as well as a sales team.
But that’s still just a first step. The product will continue to evolve in coming years to reach my objective and my initial vision of the finished product. Once I achieve this goal, I will likely sell KYC3 to develop new projects: I like to innovate and develop new ideas. I am a man of projects, not a manager of daily operations!
What advice do you have for startups planning to join L'Atelier BNP Paribas Lab's FinTech Accelerator?
I think that every startup should develop a prototype and conduct market analysis before joining an Accelerator: that helps make sure that the concept works, and that there is a market for it.
The Accelerator offers so many opportunities. Do everything you can in 4 months, but don’t worry if you can’t accomplish all your objectives in that time. The L’Atelier BNP Paribas team doesn’t just cut us loose. It’ll remain there for you when you need it!