Harshil Mathur

Harshil Mathur, Founder, Razorpay

Leading payment solution provider Razorpay has acquired Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Thirdwatch, a company specializing in big data and machine learning for real-time fraud prevention, for an undisclosed amount. This is Razorpay’s maiden acquisition in India and it will boost the company’s capabilities to weed out fraudulent transactions from the system even as the Indian economy is moving from a cash driven infrastructure to a less cash system. Thirdwatch is a Gurgaon-based data science company that was founded in 2016 by Adarsh Jain and Shashank Agarwal and has raised funds from Indian Angel Network.

Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-Founder of Razorpay said in a statement that, “This acquisition is a perfect fit. Our war is against cash, hence we want to address all problems surrounding it through new integrated data science technologies. Fraud has been the albatross around ecommerce companies’ necks for the longest time and we believe through this acquisition we will empower businesses across industries to digitally transform and disrupt, by improving their response and redressal mechanisms of combating fraud.”

Considering the changing landscape, the role of fraud has been significantly underrated in economic analysis. Estimates suggest that by 2022, the Indian e-commerce industry is expected to reach USD 150 billion. With around 4-5% transactions being fraudulent, Indian ecommerce players will lose over USD 5 billion to fraudulent transactions by 2020.

“The team at Thirdwatch comes with an exceptional understanding and expertise in AI, machine learning and data sciences and together we envision a future where AI will help e-commerce firms not just combat fraud but maintain a competitive advantage and significantly improve merchant profitability. Together, I believe we can help reduce frauds by 30-40% by next year,” he added.

Shashank Agarwal, Founder of Thirdwatch said, “We’ve always believed in developing technologies that will not just limit e-commerce transactions to be secure and seamless but also make the systems intelligent with real-time insights through AI. Fraud has been one of the largest and longest concerns for ecommerce companies. Most of their systems frequently fail while identifying fraudulent patterns and therefore not capable of differentiating between genuine customers and fraudsters. There is a dire need for a data driven solution to help identify these patterns and reduce losses of any kind, to help the marketplace function at an optimal level.”

Over the last four years, Razorpay has been actively involved in solving problems towards strengthening the fintech and banking ecosystem. Acquisition of Thirdwatch is aligned with Razorpay’s long term strategy of building core-competencies in big data and artificial intelligence (AI) by bringing in disruptive minds that can solve unique business problems in the industry. Razorpay, which is growing 500% in the last one year by the way of powering digital payments, is expecting a 5x growth in its revenue by the end of the next fiscal year.

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by Priyanka Pani
Senior Regional Correspondent, Middle East and Asia
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