Looking back can be a dangerous thing in both technology and retail — not because you might see who is gaining on you, but because you might miss where things are going.
We’re going to live dangerously, just for a moment, because 2018 was a monumental year for Signifyd. It was a year in which the company:
- Secured a $100 million Series D round of funding.
- Deepened its expansion into Europe and beyond, opening a London headquarters and an R&D lab in Belfast.
- Bolstered its executive team by hiring recognized leaders in the industry to advance its market leadership in serving enterprise and omnichannel retailers.
- Launched its educational ecommerce series FLOW, to build community and share knowledge.
- Was recognized by leading analysts and venture capitalists as a vital building block in an optimum ecommerce technology stack.
- Protected an all-time high value of orders during the crucial holiday shopping season.
- Grew its workforce by about half again and was recognized —again — as among the best places to work by Inc. Magazine and the Silicon Valley Business Journal and San Francisco Business Times.
All in all, not a bad year. But we’re not here to brag. OK, we’re bragging, but that’s not all we’re doing. Taken together, 2018’s accomplishments — which we owe to our customers, investors and employees — make an important point about the future of ecommerce. Taken together, they demonstrate that Signifyd’s brand of fraud protection — guaranteed fraud protection — has reached the mainstream and is positioned to become the industry standard for fraud management.
That’s what 2019 is for.
Venture capital shows confidence in guaranteed fraud protection
But before we get there, let’s examine the evidence. In May, Premji Invest led a $100-million funding round, which included a number of Signifyd’s previous backers. The size of the deal and the participation of Bain Capital Ventures, American Express Ventures, IA Ventures, Allegis Cyber and Resolute Ventures, was an undeniable vote of confidence that Signifyd’s approach to fraud management was the wave of the future.
“It couldn’t be clearer that guaranteed fraud protection is reaching mainstream adoption, and Signifyd is leading this space,” Sandesh Patnam, lead partner at Premji Invest in the U.S., said at the time of the funding.
The capital infusion was the fuel for Signifyd to take the guarantee model to the wider world. In November, the company opened its London-based EMEA headquarters and launched Belfast Labs, which is bringing a worldwide view to the challenges retailers face and to the solutions that can tackle those challenges. The center houses a team of top engineers driving Signifyd innovation globally, while supporting teams around the world.
“As we’ve accelerated our international expansion and our move into the enterprise retail sector, it’s vital that we build a team with a broad worldview and one that works in the geographies where our customers work,” Signifyd Co-founder and CEO Raj Ramanand said at the time.
It was a bold vision and Signifyd went about assembling additional leadership to see it through. The company attracted executive talent from organizations well known in the ecommerce trade, including Google, Magento, Gigya, NetSuite and Bain Capital Ventures.
The growth and strategic moves continued to raise the profile of the guaranteed model. Venture capitalist Mary Meeker, in her Internet Trends 2018 report, pointed to guaranteed fraud protection, and Signifyd in particular, as a key component of the modern ecommerce technology stack.
That recognition was soon followed by Frost & Sullivan awarding Signifyd with its 2018 North American Growth Excellence Leadership Award, while concluding that Signifyd had emerged as the “market leader.” Frost & Sullivan’s research accompanying the award made the point that guaranteed fraud protection’s value lies in its ability to remove friction from the buying process to help create a better buying experience.
Guaranteed fraud protection improves the buying experience
Guaranteed fraud protection combines artificial intelligence, big data and domain expertise to determine within milliseconds whether an ecommerce order is fraudulent or legitimate. Approved orders can be shipped automatically and the fraud-protection provider promises to pay the chargeback and related costs for any approved orders that later turn out to be fraudulent.
The method means that only the most complicated cases require manual review, allowing orders to ship faster and customers to receive them faster. The guarantee also guards against false declines, or the situation in which a legitimate order is mistakenly declined for fear of fraud. It is hard to imagine a worse customer experience than having a legitimate order declined.
The endorsements for Signifyd and guaranteed fraud protection continued through the year, with Deloitte naming Signifyd to it’s 2018 Technology Fast 500, ranking it No. 20 in terms of revenue growth over the previous three years.
All the while, the number of retailers turning to guaranteed fraud protection grew, as evidenced by Signifyd’s record-breaking holiday season and the continuing growth of the company. Signifyd increased its headcount by nearly 50 percent and maintained the kind of culture that attracts the best talent.
But all that, is looking back. With the rest of the successful players in retail and technology, Signifyd prefers to look ahead.
For as amazing as 2018 was, it merely set the stage for 2019. And given the progress and momentum of the past year, it would hardly be a surprise to look back a year from now and proclaim that 2019 was The Year of Guaranteed Fraud Protection.
Photo by Signifyd