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Industry roundup: 13 August

Lockstep announces strategic investment from Amex Ventures

Lockstep, a connected accounting platform, has announced a strategic investment from Amex Ventures. The investment, which finishes out the A+ round, will be used to expand personnel in product, engineering, and marketing. Lockstep announced their Series A in February of this year led by Point72 Ventures with participation from Clocktower Ventures, Revel Partners, and Avid Ventures. The A+ round brings Lockstep's total funding to US$17m since inception. 

Lockstep integrates with cloud and on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) and accounting solutions and provides services to help accounting teams work together. The company processes over US$2.5bn of invoices per month across four million accounting departments. As Lockstep works to double headcount by the end of the year, the Seattle-based startup recently brought on an executive vice president (EVP) of customer success, an EVP of marketing and a VP of finance to help lead the charge.

Most accounting departments today are still using highly manual email and spreadsheets workflows to manage their cash flow and working capital. A recent Lockstep survey found that over 90% of the email addresses that accounting departments use to work with trading partners have no automation to help streamline their cash management workflow. 

"Lockstep seeks to modernise businesses where it is needed most - accounting and finance departments," said Lindsay Fitzgerald, managing director at Amex Ventures. "By connecting accounts receivable and accounts payable departments, Lockstep empowers companies to efficiently control their payments, cash flow, and working capital. We are pleased to support Lockstep in their mission to streamline corporate payments and reconciliation."


Triodos Bank UK selects SurePay solution to help prevent fraud and misdirected online payments

SurePay has announced that Triodos Bank UK will implement its full-service Confirmation of Payee solution. Confirmation of Payee was launched by Pay.UK in 2019 and allows users to check that the name and account indicators they give for a new payee are the same as the account name held by the payee’s payment services provider. The service aims to reduce the number of payments made in error, prevent fraudulent transfers, and provide users with peace of mind when making a credit transfer online.

SurePay’s Confirmation of Payee solutions have been developed in compliance with all relevant UK rules and regulations. A key differentiator is that SurePay’s algorithm verifies transaction details instantly and does not interfere with correct payments, ensuring that the user experience is not hindered.

"SurePay is well established in the UK and Netherlands - where we have our Group headquarters - and has the most advanced offer, a strong Confirmation of Payee solution on the market and an incredibly devoted team," said Judy Rose, chief operating officer at Triodos Bank UK. "We are confident that this partnership will help us towards achieving our goals and further improve our resilience to fraud."


UK reports £5.7m in cyber crime financial loss so far this year, 1/3 from businesses

British people and businesses have suffered financial losses of £5.7m from a reported 14,883 cyber crime incidents since the start of the year. Research from click fraud prevention firm PPC Shield indicates that malicious hacking, fraudulent use of social media accounts and email scams are the most common form of cyber crime so far this year - accounting for 43% of all reported incidents since 1st January. Also in the high-ranking categories are reports of malware/viruses, personal hacking and extortion. 

Data compiled from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau indicates that those under 40 reported the most incidents this year, at a total of 5,000. This suggests that scammers and hackers are predominantly targeting younger, more tech-savvy generations; Those used to juggling multiple social media accounts, email addresses and banking apps. 

Despite the personal nature of the crimes, 81% of offences were committed by an individual person (as opposed to a group) that was not known to the victim. Concerning the tools used to commit cyber crime, malware (software designed to cause damage to a computer, server, client, or network) is at its lowest point since 2007, according to Google’s Transparency Report. In contrast, phishing websites - which seek to gain passwords, credit card numbers and other private information without the use of applications - have seen an increase of more than 750% since 2007.  

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