AWS Startups Blog

Fighting Financial Crime with Hawk:AI

HawkAI fights financial crime

Money laundering costs the world 2.7% of global GDP annually. Financial institutions spend over $200 billion per year on anti-money laundering compliance, while any misstep will mean painful fines and reputational damage.

hawk:AI, a growing fintech company, was co-founded by Tobias Schweiger and Wolfgang Berner in 2018 with one mission: ending financial crime. hawk:AI, a money laundering detection and investigation platform, uses the most sophisticated machine learning techniques to help financial institutions prevent financial crime. The Munich-based startup also drastically increases process efficiency through its solutions built on AWS.

Founding hawk:AI felt almost imperative to the founding team once they realized the extent of the problem. Schweiger explains, “We simply saw the opportunity to target a huge market while also solving for a critical problem to society.”

hawk:AI differentiates by utilizing the AWS cloud to achieve flexibility and speed in its solution, including using machine learning to reduce time spent per investigation and increase the percentage of money laundering they are able to detect. The hawk:AI team appreciates that AWS services are scalable and available in modular capacities; they rely on several AWS services in their process.

The large quantity of data used in hawk:AI’s process are housed in Amazon S3, and Amazon SageMaker is used to reason over this data. Specifically, the hawk:AI data science team uses SageMaker to quickly achieve analytics capabilities without the infrastructure management that a different solution might require. They appreciate that SageMaker can handle many aspects of their machine learning workflow, from analytics to verification of the trained models. Compared to a manual process, the team estimates that they can mobilize and deploy solutions over 30% faster, which often marks the difference between successfully fighting money laundering and failing.

“We chose AWS for multiple reasons, including its security and compliance capabilities, its broad adaption and hence trust in the financial services space and its state-of-the-art machine learning offerings,” says Wolfgang Berner, CTO/CPO at hawk:AI. “Going forward, we’re excited to do more with additional AWS services, as the extensive machine learning, global deployment options and infrastructure support are unmatched for our needs.“