Fraud-detection platform provider Fortiro spins out of PwC

08 February 2022 Consultancy.com.au 2 min. read
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Professional services firm PwC has let go of its Software-as-a-Service fraud-detection platform Protect, with its development team relaunching via a new separate company.

A recently launched financial services fraud-detection platform has spun out of professional services firm PwC, taking six of its developers and PwC staff with it. As reported by industry publication iTnews, the PwC Protect SaaS platform is now independently housed under the Fortiro band.

According to the report, the breakaway has been in the planning for some time, and PwC will retain a client relationship with the company.

Fraud-detection platform provider Fortiro spins out of PwC

“The transaction was carefully planned over 2021 with agreed transition plans implemented, and some of the roles have been replaced,” a PwC spokesperson told iTnews, adding that the personnel departures were part of the transaction. “We’re excited to work together with Fortiro on future client opportunities. What we have separated is a SaaS technology rather than our ability to provide services and solve client problems in these areas.”

Developed in 2019 and leveraging analytics, image forensics, machine learning, and optical character recognition & natural language processing technologies, Protect is an automated cloud-based document authentication platform designed to help lenders and other organisations detect fraud. According to PwC, more than a third of loan applicants misstate their true financial position, while identity crime costs Australia over $900 million each year.

“Over time the platform evolved and grew into the enterprise-ready solution that it is today, acquiring clients of all sizes across financial services and government,” Fortiro states on its website. “In late 2021, it was recognised that for Protect to continue to scale, it needed to be outside of PwC. Armed with new capital and our experienced team, we aim to become the world’s industry utility for document authentication and automation.”

Backed by OIF Ventures, which invests in innovative high-growth tech businesses, Fortiro is co-founded by David Weber, Amir Vahid Dastjerdi and Sean Quagliani, who had between them spent more than a combined 30 years at PwC. The former has been a member of PwC’s consulting division since 2005, while PwC Protect director and product lead Quagliani spent more than a decade at the firm. Dastjerdi, the platform’s CTO, joined PwC in 2016.

Weber has taken on the Chief Operating and Financial Officer roles at the newly-launched fintech, with Quagliani acting as CEO and Dastjerdi continuing as CTO. They have been joined by three other members of the development team, including PwC manager Derrick Futschik, appointed head of engineering, and software engineer Bowen Zhou. Both have been with PwC for around three years, as well as spending time respectively at Deloitte and Capgemini.