David Buxton

David Buxton 

Posted Friday July 25, 2014

Arachnys announces first premium data integration

Arachnys announces first premium data integration

A message from our CEO:

At Arachnys, we are champions of open source intelligence (OSINT) and the use of publicly available data for due diligence and compliance. Our platform connects users with over 16,000 sources in countries as diverse as Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Kiribati. Mixing together a unique archive of news and litigation, and deep-web search to access corporate registries invisible to Google, we have built the core of a one-stop shop for due diligence and compliance.

Although our Behind the Paywall blog series continues to show up what corporate information is available for purchase from other sites, we have, up to now, avoided adding proprietary data to Arachnys - even though it has been our single most-requested feature since the day we launched. Instead we have focused our resources on integrating as much public information as possible.

Arachnys goes premium

I’m pleased to announce that today Arachnys is launching our first premium integration. We have teamed up with Panjiva, a global trade company, to provide access to their full bills of lading database of international goods shipments. This is a massive, searchable database of all goods - including the company names and addresses of their senders and recipients - shipped to and from the US and several other countries.

The good news is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Since the launch of Arachnys we have worked continuously to build our open source database, we are now at the stage where we can supplement this data by adding premium sources of other types - including corporate registry information in dozens of countries - so watch this space.

If you’re not already using bills of lading, you should start

Trade finance professionals have long used bills of lading as a way of verifying relationships and bona fides.

Bills of lading are a tremendously valuable resource for investigators and compliance professionals, and by having them at your fingertips you will be able to:

  • Detect red flags such as trade with denied countries
  • Verify that a company’s true trade patterns are consistent with how it presents itself
  • Identify potential leads for further investigation by analysing the companies with which a target company does business

Several customers have told us that they already use international trade data extensively for all of these purposes. However, until now it has entailed using one or more separate tools and very few customers make it part of all of their investigations.

Example: trade with Iran

Imagine that you have been asked to look into a Colombian firm, Comestibles Aldor SA. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it’s inoffensive and seems low-risk - it makes bubble gum.

However, a quick scan of shipment records shows that Comestibles Aldor has made regular exports to Iran over the last few years, the most recent being in 2013:

combestibles Aldor on Panjiva

(Yes, HTS Code 1704901000 is “candy”!)

This may not breach local law, and it’s hard to feel too strongly about busting bubble-gum sanctions, but it could be a significant red flag.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority cites a case where a bank processed a transaction in which the bills of lading documents presented showed that the goods in question were to be shipped from Jebel Ali in the UAE to Bangladesh. However, the bank grew suspicious after checking the document details and issued a vessel check, which showed that the vessel had in fact departed from Bandar Abbas in Iran. The transaction was declined.

Example: preventing fraud

And these stories are similar to those we heard directly from our customers when we discussed the potential of bringing bills of lading onto the Arachnys platform. A compliance analyst from a major global investment bank said that while he can request individual bills of lading on a case by case basis what he really wanted was a full integrated database where he can do instant individual checks or wider trend analysis, “say my bank is about to extend a new credit line to a company claiming to be exporting fridges, I want to be sure that’s what’s actually being shipped. This will allow me to do that instantly, while also comparing it with other data sources.”

What will it cost?

All existing customers will have full access to bills of lading, for no additional charge, until at least 2015.

Our roadmap

This marks the start of an exciting era for Arachnys, in which we expand our efforts to make us a global one stop shop for due diligence and compliance information. Our aim is to be the most efficient, most comprehensive due diligence and compliance tool available - onboarding high-value proprietary data is another step towards achieving this. We are also gearing up (and hiring) to expand our technology and research expertise, enabling us to identify and integrate high-value data sources which can supplement the strength in depth that Arachnys provides.

If you’d like to know more about our new bills of lading data or simply to learn more about the Arachnys platform please drop us a line.

David Buxton is Arachnys’s CEO.

Topics: / Arachnys in the News

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