Nov 30, 2023

Lev Bass: Tech, Trust, & Transparency

In his own words: Lev Bass on carving a niche in fintech with integrity and innovation

Lev Bass: Tech, Trust, & Transparency

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Picture this: a vibrant, ambitious youngster growing up in Riga, Latvia, in a Jewish family, with a knack for sales and a heart set on justice. Fast forward, and you've got Lev Bass, the dynamic Co-founder and CBDO of, a cutting-edge regtech startup specializing in transaction monitoring and fraud prevention. Lev's story isn't just about business success; as you’ll see, it's a tale of the pursuit of fairness, peppered with an infectious entrepreneurial spirit.

From a young age, Lev had a clear vision—to lead his own company. "I knew for sure that when I had accumulated enough experience, I would definitely start my own company," he says. His first venture in 2014, although short-lived, was more than just a business endeavor; it was a learning curve that catapulted him towards the creation of

Lev isn't your run-of-the-mill business developer. In the realms of fraud prevention, KYC/KYT systems, and risk management, particularly in high-risk industries, he’s a force. This expertise is not just theoretical; it's grounded in real-world challenges and solutions, making him a go-to expert in the field.

But what truly makes Lev stand out is his unwavering commitment to justice. From his school days standing up to bullies to testifying in court against fraudsters, Lev's moral compass has always pointed towards doing the right thing. It's this blend of ethics and expertise that led him to identify a glaring need in the financial space—efficient, user-friendly tools for risk management and fraud prevention.

The birth of was a response to this need. Lev's stint at Sumsub, a KYC system provider, was eye-opening. He noticed a gap in the market for effective, modern tools in risk management. Teaming up with Dmytro Medvid and Sergii Balan, Lev set out to revolutionize the industry, making financial environments safer and more trustworthy.

Lev's profile reads like a roadmap of success. He's fluent in Latvian, Russian, and English, adding a global dimension to his entrepreneurial ventures. His list of awards, including the Garage48 GameDev 2014 Public Favorite Award and the Garage48 OpenData 2015 Microsoft Award, underscores his flair for innovation and public engagement.

Before founding, Lev's career trajectory was diverse and rich. At Sum&Substance, he was all about nurturing partner and investor relations, and at Blockvis, he focused on sales channels and partnerships. His role at PV Stream was crucial in launching the Early Adopters Program, pivotal for the company's growth in its early stages.

In the world of fintech, Lev Bass stands out as a demonstration of what happens when you combine values with business smarts. His story, and his insights, contain lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and justice-seekers alike, proving that with the right mix of passion and perseverance, you can indeed make a significant impact.

But to truly grasp the essence of his journey, it's perhaps best to let Lev narrate his own story. Here's Lev, in his own words.

What inspired you to co-found, a regtech startup focused on transaction monitoring and fraud prevention?

For as long as I can remember myself, I’ve always had a strong sense of justice, from standing up to a bully in school to testifying in court as a witness against a fraud case. I think that this sense of justice helped me to excel in the compliance field so much. At some point, it became clear to me that most of the companies in the financial space are still lacking unified tools to manage risks and prevent fraudulent activities not only in the AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism] space, but also in payments.

The idea of building Huntli came from my previous work at Sumsub, which is providing clients with the KYC system. Nonetheless, working closely with clients, I felt that there was a need on the market for this product, as their tools were either old, not user-friendly, not automated, or non-existent—or all of the above. With that in mind I’ve left Sumsub and joined forces with Dmytro Medvid and Sergii Balan to make Huntli. I always wanted to create a product, which will revolutionise the industry and push compliance departments towards further digitalisation, creating a safer financial environment in general. I eagerly wanted to build something that I would not only be proud of but also that would bring benefit to society.

What are some key challenges you've encountered while building sales teams in the KYC (Know Your Customer) sector, and how have you overcome them?

Building sales teams in the KYC sector poses challenges including the complexity of the KYC process, establishing trust, facing a competitive market, and educating team members and partners.

To overcome these hurdles, comprehensive training sessions on KYC regulations and processes are vital—I was always emphasising trust through certifications and testimonials, maintaining a close collaboration between compliance and sales teams for rapid regulatory updates and promoting adaptability for custom solutions. The sales process within such a niche sector is purely based on educating clients on the value of robust KYC processes to mitigate risks. is described as a "disruptive and highly efficient smart technology solution." Could you elaborate on the technology and innovations that set apart in the field of fraud prevention?

Huntli is a disruptive solution in the industry, which directly targets the main pain points: the ever-great threat of outside fraudulent activity, tight anti-money laundering, and combating the financing of terrorism regulations and lack of systems that are fast and adaptive enough to proactively address dynamic industry challenges.

Our core innovation is that Huntli is reshaping the risk management landscape, with a spotlight on the flexibility of systems and the dynamic fields we employ. The concept of flexibility introduces a new era of tailored solutions, where monitoring systems mould to a company's unique needs. This adaptability means staying in sync with shifting business models, risk tolerances, and regulatory demands, fostering a system that grows alongside the enterprise. At the heart of this innovation lies dynamic fields—a game-changer for customization. These fields empower businesses to define and adjust data parameters in real time, eliminating the constraints of pre-set data points. Huntli is just like WIX—in the field of risk management and compliance.

Given your expertise in risk management in high-risk industries, how do you assess and address emerging types of fraud in the rapidly evolving fintech and payments landscape?

Continuous risk assessments should be conducted to identify vulnerabilities. It's crucial to leverage transaction monitoring technologies to detect anomalies and unusual patterns in transaction data, which can indicate new types of fraud. This requires not only understanding past fraud cases but also staying ahead by anticipating potential risks based on current trends and fraudster behaviour. Collaborative information sharing with industry peers, regulators, and law enforcement agencies can also provide early warnings about evolving fraud tactics, and that I mostly see as still lacking.

Also, it's important not to underestimate a comprehensive training program for employees and customers to recognize and report potential fraud is essential in creating a unified front against emerging threats. In the rapidly evolving fintech and payments landscape, a combination of vigilance, innovation, and collaboration is the key to effective fraud prevention and risk management.

Can you share a specific success story or case study where made a significant impact in detecting and preventing fraud or money laundering for a client?

Building a startup is not a walk in the park, that’s for sure. First of all, I am truly fond of our product—our experience shows that we can reduce credit card and bank card fraud by up to 95%, as well as make clients' compliance and risk management teams about 60% more cost effective. That means we are tackling the market effectively and our disruptive approach actually answers current market challenges. Besides, founded in 2021, we're fully bootstrapped and actively growing. We are in the position when starting an investment round is a strategic decision, not the “life or death” matter. We had our ups and downs during these two years, but having the right people by our side becomes truly the key—when the team vibes, no mountain is too high to climb.

What unconventional opportunities do you foresee in the regtech space that could shape the future of fraud prevention and risk management?

The regtech sector currently is in the spotlight, that is without any doubt.

The regtech sector development is powered by its ability to be the most rapid adopter of new technologies. Firstly, I see the shift from use of legacy monolith technologies towards using microservices or third-party providers, like Huntli. I see it as a crucial strategy financial market companies must turn to. The in-house development team will focus on creating solutions serving to prevent the particular case met, as this is not the core business of the company. Whereas our core business is built around the ability to provide top notch technology able to successfully address the current and the future potential challenges, providing our clients with the most effective fraud prevention tool there currently is.    

Secondly, the concept of regulatory sandboxes is gaining traction—The Bank of Latvia Regulatory Sandbox, for example, provides existing and potential financial market participants with the opportunity to test and verify compliance of innovative services with regulatory requirements under the testing plan approved by Latvijas Banka. This approach fosters collaboration between regulators and tech providers and paves the way for more adaptive and agile regulatory frameworks.

Additionally, the incorporation of alternative data sources in risk management is an unconventional yet promising avenue. Beyond traditional financial and transaction data, regtech can tap into a wide range of non-traditional data, such as social media activity, geospatial information, or even satellite imagery. Machine learning algorithms can analyse these diverse data sources to uncover hidden patterns and emerging risks, providing organisations with a more comprehensive understanding of potential fraud and compliance issues.

Can you discuss the role of data analytics and artificial intelligence in enhancing fraud prevention efforts?

Data analytics provides the capability to scrutinise vast volumes of data in real-time, enabling organisations to identify anomalies. Extensive data analysis technologies allow to analyse historical transaction data and detect irregularities. By examining variables such as transaction frequency, location, and amount, can establish a baseline of typical behaviour. Any deviation from this baseline can raise red flags, indicating potential fraud.

AI, in particular, offers the ability to develop complex algorithms that continuously learn and adapt to evolving fraud patterns, enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of fraud detection. While we are actively working towards integration of progressive AI in our system, I still have to point out that it (a) needs further testing and examination especially in high-risk industries and (b) in many cases ML (Machine Learning) technologies are now being presented as AI, which is just an attempt to jump on a “hype-wave”.

Nonetheless, the potential is endless. AI-driven systems can establish behavioural profiles for users, allowing for the swift identification of deviations from typical interactions or transaction patterns. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, data analytics and AI have become indispensable tools, enabling organisations to stay one step ahead of fraudsters and protect their assets and customer trust.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a regtech or fintech company, based on your experiences in building

Thoroughly understand the regulatory landscape of the financial industry, stay updated on emerging compliance requirements, and develop user-friendly innovative solutions that could simplify and automate regulatory processes for the clients. While we always focus on top-notch technologies, it's important to prioritize user experience to ensure that your solution is intuitive enough. Additionally, in this highly conservative and confidential environment, the cost of partnership is invaluable—with regulators, fellow industry participants, banks and fintechs, NGO's and community in general. Polish your reputation, because your brand and broader vision will be more important than the technology at the very beginning.

Looking ahead, what are your long-term goals and vision for, and how do you plan to achieve them in the dynamic regtech landscape?

As every self-respecting Startup company, Huntli's goal is to become the next Latvian unicorn. But, of course, the ultimate goal and vision of the company is not only profit-making—its activity is guided by justice and the common values and beliefs of the team, believing that smart technologies and modern solutions can help in the fight against fraud, money laundering, etc. We want to develop the product by offering customers, regardless of company size and industry, an easy-to-use and effective risk management platform. As the main value throughout the company's operation: a safe financial environment, affordable and high-quality financial products.

What's your one guiding principle in both life and work?

For me, justice, team play, and consistency collectively serve as essential guiding principles in life. Justice cultivates a sense of fairness, ethics, and the willingness to treat others with equity, shaping relationships in both personal and professional spheres. Team play underscores the importance of collaboration, effective communication, and the ability to synergize diverse talents to achieve common objectives, whether in the context of family, friendships, or the workplace. Consistency instils discipline, reliability, and the capacity to follow through on commitments, fostering trust and dependability, which are invaluable qualities in all aspects of life. These principles, when embraced and embodied, provide me with a moral compass that not only character but also paves the way for ecological and successful entrepreneurship.

Images courtesy of: Lev Bass

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