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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Innovation Nest case study: Nethone (Poland),ICT


“Cybercrime is growing exponentially; it’s a sign of the times. In the middle ages, thieves were raiding villages and travelers. Nowadays, crime has gone digital and sophisticated, but the incentive to obtain money illegally is at least the same. Banks and businesses have to be one-step ahead of these guys and to be able to do that, they need to understand how their clients operate online.” says Hubert Rachwalski CEO of Nethone.

Hubert founded Nethone in 2016. “I have always loved dissecting data,” says Hubert “I used to study quantitative methods in economics and information systems, but now I am dedicating my energy to combating fraud and helping improve cybersecurity. Fraudsters are getting so inventive… Take for example the case of a ride-hailing app ‘driver’ who used software to manipulate the driver’s app and show that he was on a ride when he was in fact at home. At the same time, he was processing payments with stolen credit cards for the rides that were in fact not happening.”

Hubert draws an interesting parallel: “Consider how much was spent by banks on physical security over decades: armed guards, vaults, alarms. The same volumes are now online, but how much are we investing in online security? It’s not comparable to physical security!”

Based in Warsaw, Nethone is active in the B2B space, allowing its clients to better serve their customers and prevent online fraud. “We help our clients prevent, detect and more precisely identify threats. We can profile every single user session, understanding how they access websites, extracting more than 5000 attributes from each session, and using machine-learning algorithms to identify anomalies.” The aim is to protect online businesses and provide them with recommendations (accept‑reject‑review) to control transactions. In other words, fraudsters and suspicious users are detected and flagged by its machine-learning engine.

As the digital industry is constantly evolving, Nethone needed additional resources for its R&D and, in 2019, received a private equity investment from Innovation Nest, a venture capital firm supported by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. “The investment has allowed us to develop and test new ways to improve user knowledge and profiling, helping us to provide our clients with the best service we can. It is particularly important now because, with COVID, as people are increasingly using the net, fraudsters are being more and more creative in their ways to target large and growing companies. With the shift to electronic interaction, the importance of understanding the data and knowing your user is everything,” says Hubert.

Company: Nethone (Poland)

Type of business: ICT

EIF financing: InnovFin Equity, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Innovation Nest

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Poland, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/pl

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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