This morning, Artesian Solutions and DueDil announced the merger of their two firms. Both vendors serve the B2B FinTech/RegTech/SalesTech spaces with products that assist their 700 customers in onboarding clients, performing KYC/AML checks, prospecting, and monitoring customers.
The merger took place six weeks ago and was described as a partnership at the time. However, they held off on the formal announcement until “everything was aligned.”
Artesian/DueDil is currently working on a combined brand identity that reflects the offerings of both companies. For this blog, I am, therefore, referring to them as “the merged company.”
Over eighty percent of their revenue comes from the financial services sector (Banking and Insurance), with products covering the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada. While Artesian and DueDil serve the same market, they have only eight joint customers, providing significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities for their primary offerings:
- Engage – Artesian’s Sales Intelligence offering supports prospecting, customer research, financials, Companies House images, industry research, and high precision news tagging and alerting. Other tools include the Ready mobile app (meeting prep and meeting chat) and CRM connectors for Salesforce and MS Dynamics.
- Connect – Artesian’s compliance and onboarding platform supports company screening, customer due diligence, and a configurable decision engine that ingests third-party data. As a compliance and decisioning platform, Connect displays early warning indicators, supports KYC and AML checks, and delivers adverse media alerts.
Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks. Connect supports Artesian’s Premium Data feeds, the B.I.G., and customer-licensed third-party data integrations.
- B.I.G. – DueDil’s Business Information Graph spans 270 million relationships, including companies, directors, shareholders, and subsidiaries. Roughly thirty percent of the relationships are curated. The graph is updated three or four times a day.
- DueDil APIs – DueDil’s premium API also provides the capability to access B.I.G. data and plug it into existing systems “quickly and seamlessly” to power automated KYC / KYB and onboarding journeys.
The companies have complementary capabilities. Artesian Solutions offers mobile tools, CRM connectors, business events, a rules engine, and web applications. Conversely, DueDil has focused on a set of APIs and relationship data.
“Our new company will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, remaining agile to new opportunities whilst keeping focused on leveraging our newly combined strength to drive greater value for our customers.”Artesian+DueDil CEO Andrew Yates
“If you can imagine the Big Information Graph, the APIs with their published endpoints that make them really quick and effective to integrate, a rules engine, and then a host of really powerful frontline applications, and middle-office applications, that’s what we mean by end-to-end,” explained Yates to GZ Consulting. “There’s a market in the FinTech space, which is ‘just give me the data as it is’ as a service prepackaged with rules to do things like digital onboarding, straight-through processing, and automated underwriting. And then at the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got people-centric relationship management. People not only want to get access to the insight and the data, but they need the applications that link all of that together and link that back to the customer.”
“We’ve been very effective at helping our customers find the right customers, and more laterally, using things like screening technology and forensic analysis with the rules engine,” continued Yates. “DueDil has been focused on the onboarding journey and the remediation journey, so onboard them faster and keep them for life.”
There are two ways that Artesian adds value to commodity data, said the merged company’s COO Justin Fitzpatrick, who formerly led DueDil. The first is by creating “proprietary, derived data” such as relationship connections. The second is to embed “business logic around those data points” to answer “business-critical questions.”
“We can provide data that helps them check that they can onboard the customer. But at the end of the day, ideally, our clients want to be able to shortcut that process and know whether they can safely onboard that customer,” continued Fitzpatrick. “And so that’s where we started developing things like our integrated KYB endpoint, which pulls together the different bits of data, runs logic and rules over it, and spits out a sort of Pass/Fail/More type answer so that people can kind of have direct responses to the business questions that they’re asking. Being able to layer Artesian Connect’s programmable rules engine on the API was a really attractive proposition for us.”
The firms have competed against each other for around a decade but saw less of each other over the past three or four years as they focused on meeting complementary market requirements. While DueDil focused on its API strategy and B.I.G., Artesian focused on event triggers, Artesian Connect’s rules engine, and workflow tools.
“Over the past decade, DueDil and Artesian have delivered some of the most innovative and successful technology solutions, tackling the financial service market’s biggest client lifecycle challenges. We will continue to draw on this experience together to push the boundaries even further.”Artesian+DueDil COO Justin Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick argued that official registries such as the UK’s Companies House “do a great job” as “electronic filing cabinets to make sure that people file their accounts on time.” Still, they were never designed to connect the dots between “company information, director information, and shareholders.”
Fitzpatrick argues that registry data is, therefore, a commodity, with the company adding value through disambiguating the filings, matching data, identifying relationships, facilitating onboarding, client monitoring, and delivering client and prospect intelligence via an API. For example, they disambiguate about two million director profiles in the UK, ensuring that all John Smith listings are correctly matched, and that name variants are properly managed.
The merged company will continue to focus on Directors and relationships but will not become a contacts database with emails and phone numbers akin to ZoomInfo or Cognism.
“We absolutely will cover that from a regulatory standpoint,” said Yates. “Directors, officers, non-exec directors, how those people link together, entities linked together. These are absolutely critical questions that regulated industries that are trying to engage with customers need answers to.”
CEO Andrew Yates will head the merged company with Justin Fitzpatrick assuming the role of COO. The broader leadership team contains individuals from both companies. The new firm has between seventy and eighty employees, “and that number will be growing.” The combined turnover is in “double-digit millions” of pounds.
The strategy is to focus on the “multiple 1000s” of FinTech, financial services, insurance, and insurance broking institutions” that require “access to our combined capabilities.” Not only are there significant upsell and cross-sell opportunities, but “the actual number of institutions relative to the total addressable market…is still very large,” said Yates.
“When you bring the data smarts in at the next level, you start to be able to really give people a laser-guided focus in not only who the right company is, but exactly how they should engage,” expanded Yates. “If we can forensically analyze the data and combine it with rules, we can provide an engagement signal, which is essentially a next best action or recommendation as to what the individual should do – it goes way beyond giving them a piece of killer insight or a set of financials or some short animation around the structure and the way they’re organized and the ultimate beneficiary.”
Customers will also benefit from the “much more integrated experience” that unites the frontline teams and back office with a shared set of data, insights, and APIs. The goal is to “find the right customers, onboard them faster, and keep them for life.”
Yates is promising that Artesian Customers will have access to the B.I.G. and DueDil’s APIs “in a matter of weeks.”
“What’s emerging is a new company that allows more functionality, more value, and more freedom for our clients,” stated Yates. Artesian Customers will “have one of the most extensive and accurate views of every UK and Irish company at their fingertips, in real-time, and available instantly.”
Venture Capital investors Notion Capital and Octopus Ventures backed the merger, stating that “the UK is one of the leading financial centres in the world, supported by a technology ecosystem built around trust, security, and innovation. The combination of Artesian and DueDil creates an exciting growth company chasing an enormous opportunity in the FinTech market. We are thrilled to play our part in supporting them on that journey.”
Artesian is coming off of a “strong” H1 marked by profitable, double-digit growth. It added three significant customers, including two banks. Its gross retention rate was 94%, and its net retention was over 100%. Artesian has a track record of efficient revenue operations. Its LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost) was 9X last year, indicating an efficient sales engine with low churn.
I interviewed Andrew Yates back in 2018. He discussed technological disruption, AI, and data insights.