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EIT Digital produces financial crime-fighting graduate, OMNIO

The Bulgarian start-up OMNIO automates the process of investigating suspicious financial activity with support from EIT Digital's Venture Program.

As a team leader in financial institutions, OMNIO founder Stoyan Lozanov saw that, while many bank departments monitor for potential fraud or money laundering, their efforts can be hindered by internal inefficiences. Compliance officers often spend too much time performing tedious tasks instead of taking important decisions on warnings of suspicious activity.

With a holistic picture of customers and their actions missing, there is much duplication of effort among operational, risk, and compliance departments.

I quickly realized that most of this can be automated. The very important decisions still need to be made by a human, but the obvious things don't really need to take up the time of a compliance expert.

OMNIO Founder and  CEO, Stoyan Lozanov

That's why Lozanov invented OMNIO, a system taught to "mimic" a compliance expert's decision-making process, while also capturing suspicious activity. Because it is automated, "we can essentially screen a lot more transactions and a lot more potential issues and really capture the bad guys," Lozanov explains.

OMNIO combines all available data about each person doing business with a bank or fintech into one comprehensive record, uniting and optimising regulatory mechanisms that prevent fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes.

The software is designed to generate the kind of compliance report an expert might write, and to suggest solutions when irregularities are detected. The system continuously teaches itself and improves over time.

"We use machine learning to better understand the way of thinking of compliance officers in different financial institutions," according to Lozanov. "The system is provided with knowledge to begin with, but it also learns as it works with users."

Lozanov notes that much work will still be needed to perfect the technology. "The goal is to have a synthetic investigator within the next 10 years," he explains. "But for that we really need a lot of industry knowledge and a lot of combined understanding from these individuals who actually work with OMNIO." 

Launched through EIT Digital

The Bulgaria-based start-up was launched in 2021 through the EIT Digital Venture Program, which targets European countries that, according to the European Innovation Scoreboard, have moderate infrastructure to enable innovation. Start-ups accepted by the EIT Digital Venture Program are supported from concept to minimum viable product (MVP), to market validation and funding.

Being selected by EIT Digital gave us the right motivation to quickly transform what was just an idea on a lot of pieces of paper, into a real company. Incorporating the startup was, in fact, one of the mandatory steps to be taken during the Program.

OMNIO Founder and  CEO, Stoyan Lozanov

OMNIO developed its MVP through the Venture Program, and connections provided by EIT Digital led to the opportunity to conduct a proof-of-concept pilot for Alpha Bank in Greece, "which is huge for an MVP in that particular sector."

OMNIO has a few clients already and Lozanov expects that number to increase. "In the near future the partnerships we've built over the past two or three months should start to bear tremendous fruit," he said.

Further down the road, he would like to work for governments, assisting them in building the necessary infrastructure for compliance and regulation. "I'm really keen on working with a country, and I've reached out to a few," says Lozanov.

Meanwhile, OMNIO has raised a first round of funding from Vitosha Venture Partners and, this summer, secured another round from Ocean Investments and Ivo Evgeniev, which is helping promote OMNIO's solution internationally.

All of this was made possible by OMNIO's launch through EIT Digital, which is why Lozanov recommends its programs highly.

I'm happy to share with all my friends, colleagues and new bold innovators whenever there is a call for the next Venture Program of EIT Digital. I'm like: "Guys, apply if you have a promising idea because these people are pretty cool and they want to help you. They're not just checking the boxes.'

OMNIO Founder and  CEO, Stoyan Lozanov