November 15, 2022 | Firm News

Combating Financial Fraud in Latin America: Why We Invested in

Written by

Amy Cheetham

Trully founders from left to right: Eric Balderamma, Carl Handlin, & Fernando Gonzalez Paulin

Financial fraud is shockingly prevalent in Latin America. According to payments provider Ebanx, one in five digital transactions in the region was declined as fraudulent in 2020. That’s twice as often as anywhere else on Earth

Not surprisingly, organized crime drives much of this fraud, using stolen identities to commit financial fraud that largely goes undetected and unreported. Current fraud solutions tend to focus on credit data and other predictive indicators, so can easily miss this type of fraud because the fraudsters look legitimate. Having stolen the identities of real people, they then use documents that can easily pass the verification processes of normal KYC (Know Your Customer) software. 

Without stronger policies and technologies in place, the situation will continue to worsen. As the financial sector becomes increasingly digitized and the portion of the population with access to these services continues to grow in Latin America, driven by the expansion of the middle class and increased access to smartphones and internet.

The Magic of Trully: AI for Identity Verification  

That’s where Trully comes in: a modern fraud detection platform leveraging AI to verify users’ identities. 

Trully was born early this year after its three co-founders saw these financial fraud issues first-hand at RappiCard, the financial services arm of Bogota-based on-demand platform Rappi. 

Trully CEO Fernando Gonzalez Paulin, former Chief Data Officer at RappiCard Mexico worked closely with CTO Carl Handlin, who was running the global data science team at Rappi. 

They teamed up with RappiCard’s CISO, Eric Balderamma, to fight fraud internally at Rappi after the launch of its first credit card in 2020. After rolling out this product in five countries over several years, they quickly realized how widespread the issue was and how insufficient the available solutions were. That’s when they set to work on Trully. 

The Trully Team to the Rescue

Just 5 months later, Trully has launched its software and signed early customers. Its trio of founders has utilized its combination of technical skills and deep understanding of the problem to quickly take advantage of the massive opportunity in front of them. We are thrilled to lead their $4.1 million seed round alongside notable local angel investors including Pablo Viguera of banking API platform Belvo, and Juan Pablo Ortega, former co-founder of Rappi and current CEO of fintech startup Yuno. 

We’re so excited to be working with these three talented founders, based in Mexico City, to help solve such a huge problem in such an enormous market. We’re so impressed by their progress so far and look forward to seeing what’s next and helping them along the way. 


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