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Evina taps into €20m to target Africa’s telco financial services market

Paris-based cybersecurity company Evina has announced a €20-million funding round to consolidate its leading position in securing financial services for telecommunications operators. The company has confirmed that a portion of the funds will be used to expand its presence in Africa and “protect the billions of dollars that flow through Africa.”

Evina believes financial services are the future of telecom operators and said this future will not be determined by the sales strategy of cell phone plans, but by the ability to provide new services to the huge customer bases they have patiently built up. Among these, financial services are the most crucial.

“The financial services offered by telecom operators today not only offer the possibility to buy digital content, mobile applications or subscriptions to major streaming platforms directly via their SIM card, but also to receive, withdraw and transfer money. The aim is both to offer a highly efficient one-click payment method with conversion rates 100 times higher than those of a bank card, and to replace and compensate for the absence of basic banking services. Especially at a time when there are more smartphones than people on earth, and two billion people do not have a bank account,” Evina stated.

In September this year the mobile security solutions firm announced a partnership with Vodacom to bolster efforts to curb mobile fraud.

A statement announcing the alliance reads: “Fraudsters are never far from where mobile transactions are. In South Africa alone, the country fraud rate recorded by Evina’s fraud sensors was 23.53% with clickjacking being the most fraudulent technique used to defraud mobile users in the first quarter of 2021. This region is a playground for new and extremely sophisticated fraud techniques that are difficult to spot unless using advanced technology.”

According to the company, today, nearly 20% of global digital content purchases go through operators. By 2021, this will be worth more than US$40-billion, with double-digit annual growth. In addition, more than US$2.5-trillion is flowing through operators' e-wallets. This amount is expected to double within five years.

David Lotfi, CEO and founder of Evina , said, "We realised that no one knew how to stop this new generation of cybercriminals, who are extremely professional and have much more advanced technical and financial resources than before. We saw this as a major threat and decided to develop a dedicated solution."

Evina is now present in over 70 countries. Its clients include Orange and Vodacom, as well as major digital merchants for whom control of operator payment is a strategic advantage.

It claims a detection rate of 99.94% of false transactions and a false positive rate of less than 0.06%, as well as having prevented the theft of more than €1-billion over the last 12 months.

The €20-million fundraising will allow Evina to accelerate its commercial presence outside Europe, including Africa, with the opening of offices abroad, and to strengthen its technical team with new talent.

“Mobile players in Africa contribute to the wealth of payment options available to African mobile users, creating a patchwork of different mobile payment methods that are in need of more accurate types of protection and which call on Evina’s expertise to secure against the cyber issues that accompany mobile payments,” the company added.

The round was led by New York-based Radian Capital with the support of Evina's historical investors including 50 partners, Saas Partners and Id4VC.

"Telecom Operators are in a very strong position to offer the next generation of financial service products. And while they currently possess much of what they need - embedded customer base, access to phones, known identities, financial performance, and bank account credentials - these operators still lack the security capabilities necessary to fight the most sophisticated fraud attempts. This is why we are so excited to back the team at Evina. They bring 'bank security' capabilities to these telcos that allows them to operate in 2021 and beyond,” said Jordan Bettman, founder of Radian Capital.

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