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Providing a unique Adaptive Behavioral Analytics approach to spot anomalies and block fraud attacks Featurespace

thesiliconreview-martina-king-ceo-featurespace-2017Technology has opened the door to new and more pervasive forms of fraud which can cause a multifaceted and complex impact on an organisation. Day by day, detecting fraud attacks is getting tougher for businesses, and the changes in online fraud behavior happen so quickly that only a machine learning system can analyse vast volumes of data in real-time to keep up and protect consumers. This means that the machine learning and real-time adaptive solutions for fraud detection have become more important than ever. As the rate of fraud attacks continue to increase, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars worldwide each year, being able to detect and stop them accurately needs to be a top priority for organisations. This is where Featurespace comes in with its ARIC™ platform, which enables organisations to spot and block fraud as it happens for the first time, while at the same time improving customer experience.

Featurespace was created by a Cambridge University Professor and his PhD student, Dave Excell, at the forefront of two academic fields: Data Science and Computer Science. The late Professor Bill Fitzgerald was an extraordinary inventor, who in his role as Head of Applied Statistics and Signal Processing, contributed towards understanding the extraction of the ‘signal’ (or meaning) from the ‘noise’ in data. Dave Excell adapted and commercialized this technology into Featurespace’s award-winning ARIC™ platform.

A breakthrough in fraud detection technology

Professor Bill and Dave Excell were fascinated by how one can get machines to observe, predict and act in the same way as humans. They explored how machine learning anomaly detection can be applied to the problem by building real-time, individual profiles of people using behavioral data. Featurespace’s Adaptive Behavioral Analytics technology left the Cambridge Engineering Department in 2008, when Betfair, a European peer-to-peer betting platform, asked Featurespace to build the first system to develop a way to protect customers from fraud attacks in online gaming by using their machine learning approach.

The ARIC platform, a world first in machine learning fraud prevention, was built to solve this commercial challenge. It was found that the Financial Services industry also was plagued by similar fraud issues. ARIC is proving the commercial value of this anomaly detection technology, helping organisations revolutionise the way they get the best out of their own data to protect their customers.

The ARIC platform for fraud loss reduction

The ARIC software platform spots new fraud attacks as they occur, while at the same time reducing the number of genuine customers who get blocked when trying to catch fraud - typically by over 70%. This is a huge step forward in the fight to protect consumers from fraudulent attacks and improve customer satisfaction in banking, payments, gaming and insurance.

Unlike most existing fraud prevention technologies, which rely on identifying known “bad” behavior, the ARIC platform builds up a real-time behavioral profile of “normal” behavior for each individual customer, and spots the exact moment when that behavior changes. This approach means that the fraud attacks - including new types of fraud - stand out and can be caught. At the same time, genuine customer behavior can be recognized, so that customers aren’t blocked in an attempt to catch fraud.  This is all in real-time, delivered as a software product which is easy to install and use on-premise or in cloud.

Helping clients meet their needs

Spotting and blocking fraud is an issue that affects a huge number of global businesses, governments and individuals. To solve this evolving fraud threat, the company is delivering the ARIC platform to a growing customer base, including TSYS, the US-based payments processor. Featurespace has also received the support of investors including Touchstone Innovations, TTV Capital, Nesta and Cambridge Angels, to fuel its rise as provider of the smartest real-time machine learning fraud prevention platform in banking, payments and gaming.

This is what Featurespace’s big clients had to say:

“We are delighted to be working with Featurespace to ensure that our customers are even better protected. Featurespace’s industry leading technology ensures that goHenry continues to lead the market.” - Louise Hill, goHenry COO.

“Featurespace’s technology presents an innovative way for the Financial Services industry to prevent and detect financial crime in real time.” - Scott Samme, PwC UK.

Commitment to excellence

Featurespace is a software company that is all about its people. From the innovation of its co-founders, to the smart minds who build and continually improve its product, to the industry experts in fraud operations who ensure the customer voice is the lifeblood of its success. “Each member of the Featurespace team is a key component in our success as a smart technology company that is breaking ground globally in fraud prevention”, the company said. Featurespace’s goal is to be the default fraud prevention provider globally for banking, payments and gaming. It is continuing the global expansion of its customer base, enabling organisations to protect their customers and offer an outstanding customer experience.

Knowing the leaders behind Featurespace

Co-founder, Bill Fitzgerald (deceased 2014): Bill was the Professor of Applied Statistics and Signal Processing and Head of Research in the Signal Processing Laboratory, in the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University. He won the EURASIP 2014 Technical Achievements award and was recognised for his contributions in applications of Bayesian theory in signal processing. He sadly passed away in 2014.

Co-founder and CTO, Dave Excell: Dave has over 15 years’ experience in both software development and turning research into commercial reality. Under his technical leadership, Featurespace has grown from a concept into a commercial success with blue-chip company customers. He has been awarded ten prizes and scholarships for his academic and commercial achievements, including the 2011 ITC Enterprise Award for Young Entrepreneur.


CEO, Martina King: Martina joined in 2012 to provide strategic direction and vision. Her background includes senior roles at Aurasma, Capital Radio and Yahoo! Europe. She has also held numerous non-executive directorships, including her current role at Debenhams.

“Featurespace is a company that brings new insights through new ways of treating data. But we are very much a human company, not just a tech company.”