Blockchain start-up Cygnetise raises £1m to save businesses from potential fraud

The London-based business helps corporates maintain and update their authorised signature lists via its private blockchain and encryption software

Cygnetise, a London-based blockchain start-up, has raised £1m in seed funding – in a round led by Calibrate Management.

Helping businesses maintain, distribute and update their authorised signature list via its private blockchain and encryption software.

Authorised signatory lists are used by most corporates to ensure there are appropriate controls applied to everything from cash payments to legal documentation.

Part of a firm’s compliance environment, such information is often required by regulatory bodies – though is often compiled manually by employees.

A traditionally labour-intensive process, Cygnetise claims such a method is open to employee errors and potential fraud – as lists are often updated periodically and on an ad hoc basis, meaning ex-employees may still have the authority to control company payments or have continued access to classified information.

Looking to “minimise the historical risk associated with authroised signatories”, Cygnetise allows users to create a digital directory of authorised signatories via a UI application.

Each signatory is given an electronic profile in line with their position and authorisation capabilities – with only current employees given access to the platform.

Incorporated in May 2016, the platform launched in April 2017 and counts businesses from the insurance, fund management and legal sectors as clients.

While the latest version of the service now provides a self-service model – allowing wannabe-users to sign up directly without the need for a sales representative.

Having now raised £1.6m to date, the start-up will use the latest injection of cash to rapidly grow national and international sales.

Stephen Pomfret, founder and CEO, said:

“We wanted to create a simple application using blockchain to bring operational efficiencies, reduce risk and mitigate the opportunities for fraud from a mandatory paper based process.

“Our vision is that our product, the first UK-based corporate blockchain application, will revolutionise the way companies maintain and distribute authorised signatory lists.”

Remy Kesrouani, managing partner at Calibrate Management, said:

“We share the view that Cygnetise, using blockchain technology, is instantly relevant for managing authorised signatory lists in banks, insurance companies and wider professional and legal services.

“It is a simple way to modernise a manual paper-based process and we are excited to be investing and will work closely with Cygnetise to accelerate the uptake of this solution.”