Have a team that is 100% focused – one of our weaknesses so far, unfortunately

sanctions.io provides easy access to sanction list data

Please introduce yourself and your startup sanctions.io to our readers!
My name is Jens Kettler, and I work together with Tobias Wust to make compliance easier and cheaper for enterprises. I started sanctions.io and Tobias joined shortly after that and now drives software development.
sanctions.io provides easy access to sanction list data which is relevant for almost every business, in particular in the finance industry. Sanction lists contain individuals and organizations that are related to terrorism and other illegal activities, or where legal trade restrictions apply. But it is costly when companies subscribe to this data through the established vendors. We offer access to data from sanction lists of the EU, UK, and US, and will add more data in the future, including data relevant for prevention of bribery and other uses.

How did you get the idea to sanctions.io?
sanctions.io is kind of a spin off: my other company REMEDYNE develops and sells software for fraud and error detection and compliance for SAP users. We got a request to include sanction list screening, and then learned that this is an important but somewhat complex and costly thing: the original data published by governments is free to use, but there are many lists in different formats etc. So we build a tool that aggregates the data and makes it available through a single API.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
We did not get the idea to do this on our own, customers asked for it: so we had to learn and understand all these things about sanctions, like what data companies really need, how to get it, how to make it easily consumable. And whether we want to be in this business at all. We did not understand the topic when we started, but we committed to it as we saw some demand, and what else do you really need?
Unfortunately, until now, this has been a project that only got our time and resources when our main project, REMEDYNE, allowed that. We would love to have someone join us and drive this forward as his or her main priority!

Who is your target audience?
Larger enterprises, any industry; but could also be relevant to smaller ecommerce sites, or fintech and insurtech startups.

sanctions.io
Jens Kettler

What is the USP of your startup?
Our solution is the most cost-effective source for this kind of data. Also our API is very flexible and can provide data so that consuming applications can very easily use it.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
As I mentioned earlier, this is not a full-time job for us, we have another project. So as of now, we are more reactive than really pushing this forward. I hope this changes as someone who is looking for a challenge as a co-founder is reading this interview!

Where do you see yourself and your startup sanctions.io in five years?
We are looking to position this as an independent company/startup, and then secure resources to develop it. Right now, REMEDYNE customers are using it, and we have a few other users who signed up to our website where we offer a free search in our database.
I think this is mainly a strategy where we look to become a data provider for any company that wants to do some business partner due diligence.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
We are very early with sanctions.io, and it would be presumptuous to tell others what to do based on our experience here. But our decision to start this and our strategy are based on 1. Initial demand, 2. easy and fast to develop a first version, and 3. have a team that is 100% focused – one of our weaknesses so far, unfortunately.

More information you will find here

Thank you Jens Kettler for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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