ThirdWatch is a Gurgaon based startup founded by Shashank and Adarsh. ThirdWatch is an Artificial Intelligence company to control the fraud that happens in digital transactions.
” Its system captures 200+ parameters and flags each transaction in real time, as red or green. It generates a risk score also which defines riskiness of the transaction”, says Shashank.
We got an opportunity to talk with Shashank, the co-founders of ThirdWatch. Let’s look at his journey of being an entrepreneur. And I am sure it will inspire you as well.
Give a brief info about your startup?
ThirdWatch is an Artificial Intelligence-driven startup based in Gurgaon. Thirdwatch aims to reduce fraud that occurs in digital transactions through AI and machine learning. Its platform Mitra prevents fraud in digital, banking and e-commerce transactions in real time by integrating AI. Its system captures 200+ parameters and flags each transaction in real time, as red or green. It generates a risk score also which defines riskiness of the transaction.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
We are avid e-commerce shoppers and have been shopping online since 2005-Indiaplaza days when we used to order books online. A couple of years back, I was trying to order TV for my Dad who lives in Greater Noida on one of the top 2 e-commerce sites of India however it was not taking the order despite being prepaid. When I ordered the same item to my Gurgaon address it came through. On digging deeper we found that fraud/abuse is a big problem in e-commerce and companies sometimes use broad rules like blocking certain pin codes/cities/states and/or international credit from ordering which affect genuine users part from fraudulent.
Given our experience in building big data mobile analytics system, we felt confident that we can solve this problem by using Ai and big data hence started ThirdWatch in April 2016
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Adarsh and I (Shashank) worked together and know each other from last 6 years. In our last assignment, we have created a Mobile analytics system rocq, Which had huge success in terms of clients and multiple acquisition offers. We have filed some patents also. Than as answered in above question we have started ThirdWatch. We have raised funding when we were only two members in team.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We are based in Gurgaon, Haryana. Gurgaon is the Corporate Hub of North India right now that provides all the resources to a young startup to flourish. Whether it is the working space or the workforce, Gurgaon is the most preferred choice for startups right now.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
With a product based on Artificial Intelligence which is yet to become a part of our daily vocabulary, we mostly worry about improving our product Mitra and making it efficient for all kinds of e-commerce platforms. We constantly aim to make our product more efficient for online businesses and enable them to fight all kinds of frauds that are evolving with time and technology.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Currently, the AI space in India is at its initial stage. There aren’t many AI-based startups right now, especially for the e-commerce domain. There is a lot left to explore and develop in the Artificial Intelligence genre right now. Having said that, we aim to become a better version of ourselves and can pride ourselves as the first AI-based fraud prevention solution for the e-commerce industry in India.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We are first investment of Rs 450 cr IAN Fund. And the raised seed round was led by Rahul Agarwalla of the Indian Angel Network. Keshav Sanghi, former managing director of Goldman Sachs India and founder of investment firm VentureWorks India, and financial advisory firm Batlivala & Karani Securities also invested in this round. Funding amount is undisclosed.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
People are afraid of AI. There is an amusing myth regarding AI that one day AI will take over the human species and leave all humans jobless and slaves to technology. AI is always associated with walking-talking robots! However, that is entirely untrue. AI is simply a highly advanced form of technology that is fed with a large amount data. AI integrates machine learning and natural language processing only to the extent of data given to it. With AI in e-commerce, businesses will be able to save a huge amount of resources spent on dealing with fraud manually.
What gets you excited about this company?
The idea of a fraud-free e-commerce industry where both the seller and the consumer can freely trade without getting worried about frauds; The idea that we can help businesses to desist from using stringent or static measures to tackle fraud and provide them with a revolutionary solution that revamps the entire e-commerce domain, is what motivates and excites us.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
After funding we have hired First full stack tech guy Tarun whom we know from last 4 years. Than some hirings from Angel.co. We have collaboration with IIT Kanpur and CMU university professors for our ML Model Accuracy. We now have a proper team for digital marketing, sales and tech field.
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