B2B digital commerce has surged in recent years. Already a $5.6 trillion industry globally, this is expected to grow to $20.9 trillion by 2027 as increasing numbers of companies use B2B marketplaces to buy and sell online.
Accompanying this simpler, faster online procurement are risks like supplier fraud and sudden insolvency. These issues can affect any company and manual due diligence is too time-consuming, costly and resource-intensive to meet the needs of this fast-paced e-commerce experience.
The global pandemic has intensified risks as well. Those responsible for business verification are either acting too quickly, grinding to a halt from fear of failure, or sitting somewhere in the middle, pondering too long as to whether a marketplace seller is to be trusted before pressing “purchase” anyway.
Liam Chennells, Chief Executive Officer of Detected, is spearheading the company’s mission to eliminate this manual due diligence by helping marketplace operators automate business verification. Detected analyses thousands of data points every minute, providing the automated insight necessary to reduce fraud, accelerate trading and strengthen trust between trading partners.
Liam Chennells, Chief Executive Officer, Detected
What has been the traditional company response to financial technology innovations nationally?
Everything has been manual until now. Companies either trust the information provided to them from sellers implicitly, take what they see online at face value, or conduct so much manual due diligence that they end up cancelling out digital commerce’s benefits.
There are Fintech and RegTech solutions that do provide business verification data; however, these are often disparate systems, the information delivered is out of date or they have no capacity to assess the viability of a marketplace seller.
How has this changed over the past few years?
Data providers have realised that closed systems benefit no-one, including themselves. Plug-and-play APIs are proving transformational across all of Fintech, RegTech and other associated industries. Our platform is connected to global data networks 24/7 and by gathering, analysing and sharing this insight in a user-friendly way we enable businesses to make confident purchasing and procurement decisions.
Supplier failure and fraud are critical topics. Just look at the fraud that occurred within the UK’s Bounce Back Loans last year or the many failed retailers that left their suppliers vulnerable, out of pocket and questioning their supply chains.
Businesses are waking up to the fact that manual business verification is unsuitable within today’s global digital economy.
Is there anything that has created a culture of change inside the company?
Our collective backgrounds mean very few of us conform to the status quo – our team is made up of serial entrepreneurs, SaaS veterans, technology innovators and procurement specialists. We are a fluid business, always adapting, never sitting still. Change is inevitable and we embrace it at every opportunity.
What Fintech ideas have been implemented?
Detected is a business founded in the pandemic, funded in the pandemic and launched in the pandemic, so rapid execution, digital technology and ‘work-from-anywhere’ collaboration runs through our veins.
Pace is everything in Fintech and we thrive on this mentality. Our clients need real-time insight to shore up due diligence, verify partners confidently, de-risk supply chains and streamline procurement, so it wouldn’t make sense if we were slow to act.
What benefits have these brought?
We got to market incredibly quickly. Other companies have spent years developing their technology and courting investors on the fundraising circuit. We completed everything in a matter of months, and we would have been even faster if setting up a business remotely wasn’t so archaic and slow.
As an aside, we opened and closed our £600k seed round in 72 hours last year – this was possible thanks to Fintech and frictionless international banking.
Do you see any other industry challenges on the horizon?
Resistance to change is always the big one, people like what they know, and new technologies often unsettle.
Sometimes we sell to corporates, however we face apathy and defensiveness regularly, although much of the time that’s because people feel threatened. Once we explain that we eliminate manual processes and reduce KYB (Know Your Business) due diligence from weeks to minutes people’s ears prick up…
Marketplace operators are far more forthcoming and collaborative. They recognise how our technology creates a safer experience by enabling buyers to conduct real-time ‘in-journey’ due diligence in seconds.
We see the Detected Icon as the ‘Blue Tick’ for marketplaces. Buyers find a product, look at which business is selling that product, tap the Detected Icon, review the business’ credentials, and then purchase with confidence.
Can these challenges be aided by Fintech?
Fintech is normalising digital solutions across every business. RegTech, Insurtech and other related sectors are a little further behind Fintech’s adoption curve, however thanks to Fintech’s advances, RegTech solutions are becoming more widely adopted. Trust is building faster and faster, it’s an exciting time to be in this industry.
Business verification applies to every single company. It doesn’t matter how large or small an organisation, businesses have suppliers and trading partners of some sort, whether that’s a manufacturer in China, their local accountant, or customers on a niche B2B marketplace that specialises in exotic wholesale fish or industrial components.