US anti-fraud giant announces acquisition of Manchester’s Hello Soda

Acuant, the global identity platform for fraud prevention and anti-money laundering compliance, has acquired Manchester-based Hello Soda for an undisclosed sum.

Hello Soda, which also has offices in the US and Thailand, specialises in providing advanced text analytics software solutions to customers across six continents meaning it is able to provide a global, 24/7 service to its portfolio of customers.

Along with the company’s deep expertise in eMoney and gaming, with customers including VirginBet, Klarna and Paysafe, the union will bring together powerful technology and data science capabilities that are key to unlocking trust in digital identities.

Yossi Zekri, president and chief executive of Los Angeles-based Acuant, said: “Our goal has always been to power trust for all, a vision we share with Hello Soda whom we are excited to welcome to the Acuant family.

“This is truly the most exhilarating time in our company’s history, coinciding with the disruption of traditional financial markets, the rapid digitalisation of the world and the need for business and governments to help safeguard identity more than ever before.

“Adding Hello Soda to our Trusted Identity Platform will reach more people today and position us even stronger for the future of digital identity.”

Hello Soda’s foundation in advanced analytics has driven its success in developing and delivering to market, a suite of solutions that leverage digital data sources and capabilities for the purpose of know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML).

With a strong focus on ensuring businesses receive actionable insight, Hello Soda’s technology utilises proprietary analytics, matching algorithms and data science modelling to provide configurable and composite scoring, enabling businesses to make trusted decisions from the point of onboarding to enhanced due diligence (EDD) and continuous monitoring.

Its leading dark web solution mitigates the risk of impersonation fraud by searching more than 600 million records on the dark web for a customer’s information and provides an extra level of security by searching and monitoring customer PII (personally identifiable information) against compromised data.

Its innovative and multilingual platform has enabled Hello Soda to become a market leader in automated identity solutions, currently verifying identities in more than 180 countries.

Hello Soda founder and chief executive, James Blake, said: “We could not be happier to join Acuant, bringing our talent, technology, network and expertise to strengthen all we have accomplished and to take our mutual vision further as a team.

“Our combined technology will serve us well in our joint mission to democratise trust and provide solutions to reach every sector of the global population, allowing every individual to conduct trusted transactions when and where they wish.”

BDO advised Hello Soda on the deal and partner, Rob McCann, said: “We were delighted to have advised the shareholders on this important transaction.

“Hello Soda is a stand out business in an exciting and growing sector, founded in Manchester and with strong international presence.

“Through this transaction, the business has even more opportunity to increase its international footprint, and has a very exciting future ahead. It is a great story for Northern technology businesses.”