Feedzai, the 1st startup launched under the CMU Portugal scope, became the 2nd Unicorn Company born under the partnership

Feedzai is the 4th Portuguese company to obtain the title of Unicorn after raising a $200 million growth investment by KKR, a leading global investment firm and joins Mambu becoming the 2nd Unicorn Company launched under the CMU Portugal Program. Feedzai, is now valued at well above $1 billion which confirms, according to the company, the support and confidence of Sapphire Ventures and Citi Ventures, who in 2017 invested $50 million in the biggest investment ever registered by a startup until the date.

This announcement is even more rewarding to the CMU Portugal Program considering the strong involvement of the company within the partnership:

  • First start-up to be created under the scope of the CMU Portugal Program, by Paulo Marques and Pedro Bizarro, faculty members of the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (FCTUC) and Nuno Sebastião, Engineer at ESA at the time.
  • Large Scale Collaborative Project Promoter, leading the CMU Portugal project CAMELOT, launched in 2020 in a collaboration between groups at Carnegie Mellon University, Instituto Superior Técnico, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra. The project aims to improve the use of ML in terms of cloud resources, anonymized data, efficient data pipeline processing, and development of fair and explainable models.
  • Industrial Affiliated Partner, being committed to actively contribute to the Partnership’s advanced education and research programs, investing in R&D and building a highly skilled workforce dedicated to innovation activities.
  • Visiting Faculty at CMU, Paulo Marques and Pedro Bizarro were both CMU Portugal Visiting Faculty at CMU. Paulo was, in fact, the 1st visiting faculty involved with the CMU Portugal Program to spend one semester at CMU doing research. His experience led to the launch of the Visiting Faculty initiative that has been running since 2007. Paulo has been highly involved with the Program since day one, being the first faculty member from Coimbra to be certified as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon. He was also the first Director of the Master’s in Software Engineering from the Portugal side. Paulo continued his affiliation with the Program throughout the years and is now one of CMU Portugal’s Scientific Directors.

Feedzai is the market leader in fighting financial crime, providing today’s most advanced cloud-based risk management platform using advanced machine learning techniques. This investment comes a week after the company’s recent announcement of the award-winning ethical AI innovation Feedzai Fairband, the world’s most advanced AI fairness framework that allows financial institutions worldwide to make better and fairer decisions while protecting them from financial crime.

Now, with this new round of investment Nuno Sebastião, Co-Founder, Chairman and Feedzai CEO, states on the company’s announcement “we’re ecstatic at the “future-proof” capabilities this new investment will bring our team, products, and cloud platform” adding that “this investment assures the cutting-edge technology we’re known for, along with our expertise in fraud prevention and anti-money laundering, will continue and expand and develop well into the future.”

The success of the company born within the CMU Portugal Program framework and supported by FCT, is a clear acknowledgment of the Program’s outcomes and a proof of the impact that the partnership has in supporting strong and innovative ICT initiatives.

In addition to Feedzai, the Program has three other Portuguese Unicorn companies on its list of Industrial Affiliated Partners, namely Outsystems, Farfetch and Talkdesk. Mambu, a startup also founded under the Program’s scope, was also recently recognized as one of Germany’s Unicorn Companies, where it is based.

The CMU Portugal Program is proud to be part of such an innovation ecosystem, partnering with some of the best companies in the data-driven economy which allow us to keep at the forefront of research and technological development in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Feedzai announcement:

FCT News article