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PayPal to buy Simility, a specialist in AI-based fraud and risk management, for $120M

PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) has agreed to acquire fraud prevention technology company Simility, for $120 million in cash, it said on Thursday.

PayPal  had been an investor in Simility (it owns three percent of the company, it says), along with Accel, Trinity Ventures and others. The startup had raised just under $25 million and was last valued at $52.75 million, according to figures from PitchBook, making this a decent return for its backers. The deal is expected to close in Q3.

Palo Alto, California-based Simility sells machine-learning-based technology to help online merchants spot fraudsters and improve risk management.

PayPal plans to make Simility’s services available to its merchants following the close of the transaction, which is expected by the end of the third quarter, it said.

“Digital commerce has exploded, and fraudsters have taken note, adapting and developing new methods to carry out their crimes,” said Bill Ready, chief operating officer, PayPal, in a statement. “PayPal has been at the forefront of developing innovative fraud prevention and risk management solutions for nearly 20 years, but until now, merchants haven’t been able to configure those solutions to manage the unique complexities of their businesses. Together with Simility, we will be able to put more control in the hands of our merchants to fight fraud while helping make commerce experiences faster and more secure.”

PayPal has made a number of acquisitions over the last few weeks, all pointing to adding new technologies and tools to reflect our changing times and how that is playing out in the world of payments. They have included European mobile payments and financial services business iZettle, payments aggregator Hyperwallet and AI-based CRM specialist Jetlore.

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