Business Onboarding with Liam Chennells, Co-founder & CEO of Detected

Steve interviews Liam Chennells of Detected
Transcript

No transcript...

In this episode, I speak with Liam Chennells, Co-founder & CEO of Detected.

Liam shares the origin story of Detected and how they’re reinventing the status quo of online business verification. He describes why business onboarding is broken and what companies can do to increase speed, lower costs, and reduce risk. Liam also describes how they’re using artificial intelligence and the specific results companies experience when implementing Detected.

RESOURCES:

Connecting with Liam Chennells

Liam Chennell’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/liamchennells/

Detected’s website: https://www.detected.co/

Companies & Resources Discussed

Detected is reinventing how companies undertake onboarding at speed, a lower cost and with reduced risk. It positions itself as a strategic ally to ambitious companies who want to onboard new businesses to drive their own growth.

Salesforce provides customer relationship management software and applications focused on sales, customer service, marketing automation, e-commerce, analytics, and application development.

Commerce Cloud, from Salesforce, is the growth engine for customer companies. Automate sales across the entire customer lifecycle by embedding AI-driven commerce everywhere — from flexible digital storefronts to embedded apps for sales, service, and marketing.

Hybris (SAP) is a cloud-based e-commerce, and digital marketing solutions platform. Hybris was acquired by SAP in 2013.

eBay creates pathways to connect millions of sellers and buyers in more than 190 markets around the world. Its technology empowers its customers, providing everyone the opportunity to grow and thrive no matter who they are or where they are in the world.

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and cloud platform services.

Dun & Bradstreet helps its clients and partners grow and thrive through the power of data, analytics, and data-driven solutions. It has been a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics for almost 200 years.

Thomson Reuters informs the way forward by bringing together the trusted content and technology that people and organizations need to make the right decisions.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a type of short-term financing that allows consumers to make purchases and pay for them over time, usually with no interest.

Know Your Customer (KYC) standards are designed to protect financial institutions against fraud, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing.

Know Your Business (KYB) is a set of verification procedures that helps companies avoid getting into business with criminals. KYB verification also confirms those businesses are following industry rules and standards, like Anti-Money Laundering (AML).

Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) is the person that is the ultimate beneficiary when an institution initiates a transaction. The definition of who constitutes a UBO varies between jurisdictions, but generally a UBO is defined as an individual who holds a minimum of 10-25% (dependent on jurisdiction) of capital or voting rights in the underlying entity.

Detected Co-Pilot, as described by Liam Chennells on the podcast, is an AI tool that the company is developing to help its clients automate tasks.

Corporate Transparency Act is a US regulation that went into effect on January 1, 2024, requiring certain business entities to disclose information, including beneficial owners, to the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Thomson Reuters Ventures is an enterprise technology venture capital fund with the full backing and resources of Thomson Reuters. It is an early-stage investor seeking to accelerate the trajectory of the companies it invests in by working closely with founders and enabling access to the assets and expertise of Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters Investment in Detected of $2.5m in its latest fundraising, including investment from existing investors Thomson Reuters Ventures, Love Ventures, and powerful industry angels.

Love Ventures is an early-stage VC powering the future pioneers of FinTech, Future of Work, and ConsumerTech.

M12 Microsoft’s Venture Fund (Microsoft Ventures) invests in promising early-stage companies that are changing the way we live and work. It focuses on technologies related to cloud infrastructure, AI, cybersecurity, developer tools, vertical SaaS, and Web3 + gaming.

Gallup helps its clients understand the human experience to help solve their greatest challenges and seize their greatest opportunities. The CliftonStrengths Assessment is a featured product. The assessment helps individuals discover what they do best to help maximize their potential. 

StrengthsFinder was changed to “Clifton StrengthsFinder” in order to pay tribute to Don Clifton, who died in 2003. In 2007, Gallup updated the test and released the new book, StrengthsFinder 2.0.

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Steve Craig: Welcome to the PEAK IDV EXECUTIVE SERIES video podcast, where I speak with executives, leaders, founders, and change makers in the digital identity space. I'm your host, Steve Craig, Founder and Chief Enablement Officer of PEAK IDV. For our audience, this is a video for a series. So if you're enjoying the audio version, please check out the full video recording on executiveseries.peakidv.com. You can watch the full episode, read the transcript, and access any of the resources or links from today's conversation. This week, I'm super excited to feature Liam Chennells, Co-founder and CEO of Detected. Liam's mission at Detected is to reinvent how companies undertake business onboarding at speed, at lower costs, and with reduced risk.

Liam has a fascinating background. He started his professional career in sport as a rugby player in England and New Zealand. He later worked for 10 years in e-commerce in Silicon Valley, including time at eBay. And now he's leading Detected as its chief executive based in the UK. Liam, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.

Liam Chennells: Thanks for having me, what an intro.

Steve:  Absolutely. It was a fascinating background when I was doing the research for this episode, let's get started though. Can you share more about Detected and what problems you solve? 

Liam: Happy to. It's really simple business onboarding is broken. I've never met anybody who in an early conversation with them, when I asked what they do today, he says, “Yeah, we've got it all sussed out. It all works really smoothly. It's all as fast as we want it to be in it and it captures all the information we need to.” So we started this business to fix that, taking all of my e-commerce experience and applying it to business onboarding.  

Steve: As a business owner myself, you know, I've seen that broken process, just getting accounts set up, bank accounts, being able to set up tax accounts. What do you think the scale of that problem is, that's broken? 

Liam:  To try and build a picture of how big the market is, it's actually pretty difficult on the basis that it's broad because there's payments companies, which is where we focus. And that's the focus that we've decided on. But we've also got marketplace clients almost accidentally, right?

Because they've got to onboard sellers. There's procurement tools, there's insurance, there's- there's-a whole world of businesses trying to have relationships with other businesses and struggling to do it. So we focus on payments for now because where money moves, people are on the hook. So that's a good place for us because there's a bigger incentive. But the scale of the problem is genuinely enormous. You could put a- a-TAM, SAM, SOM number on it, but I think those numbers are all fictional and made up by consultants anyway. 

Steve: Well, one of the stats I saw just in the last year was coming out of the pandemic. There are more businesses being started than people being born. And so when you think about the incorporations and the LLCs and the limited companies, it's just growing rapidly as people are starting businesses. With your time in e-commerce, how- how-did that influence your thinking about business onboarding? 

Liam: I remember a time in about 2014, and I was speaking to one of the big box retailers and their website at the time looked a little bit like, you know, if you go to a sort of out of town big box retailer and you say, right, I want to 25 of the- 25-packs of these screws, 25 links of this wood, their website looked like that little piece of paper in that box. It's almost like a B2B website. Just hadn't caught up with the Nikes, the Adidas, the Amazons of this world.

And I remember saying to the person responsible for the B2B e-commerce website of this big box retailer, “you know these people that are buying from your site, you treat them as businesses, but they're people. And they're used to Adidas and they're used to Nike and they're used to Amazon.” And this specific retailer completely changed their approach and they made it feel like shopping as a consumer, but for businesses, and you've seen the success of Amazon for business, it's a procurement platform, but it feels like shopping on Amazon. KYC is really, really good, especially at businesses like the new neo banks. So the Monzo's, Starling’s, Revolute’s of this world, KYB is going to catch that on the basis that the people who are in the businesses are consumers and they have expectations like consumers, and they will vote with their feet. If they don't sign up to something and the experience isn't great, they're going to go somewhere else. So there's a competitive advantage to improving onboarding, so that's the lens that I've approached it from. 

Steve: That's great. But when I think about KYC, that process seems more straightforward. You've got, maybe an ID document, you have some information about that person that's not changing. Businesses are a bit more complex and fluid. I imagine there's a lot more technical innovation that's required around that. Can you share a little bit more about how you've tackled that problem? 

Liam: Yeah. The- the-experience being improved actually more by luck than judgment, honestly, because I hadn't worked in this industry before. I had no sort of KYC, KYB compliance experience. But what I realized is that, especially internationally, the information that's available on a business varies hugely based on what the government in that country requires of that business when they're incorporated and then when they have to refresh their credentials every year, 18 months, two years, three years. So you've got this matrix of data availability. So if you're trying to onboard businesses in different countries, it becomes even more complex. But even domestically, you have different requirements based on different products. So for example, our flow will change dynamically based on whether the business is less than six months old, or whether it's in a certain region, or whether it's in a certain product. Because the variety of information you have to capture in say high risk versus low risk is enormous. So a one size fits all approach just doesn't work. 

Steve: When you're tackling a technical challenge like that, you need- you need-the best, right? And I was looking at your company's history, so you have a technical co-founder. Can you share more about your co-founder and your technical bench at Detective? 

Liam: I can. So, Peter Youell, who is my co-founder and CTO, we worked together at an e-commerce systems integrator back in 2012. I led sales and he led technology, so we did a load of pitches together. We were going to retailers trying to encourage them to upgrade to systems like Salesforce, Commerce Cloud, and Hybris. And, I went to eBay and he went to Oracle. And, when we were at those companies, we- we-sat down one day and we said, one day we'll start our own business, but I wonder what it will be. And, when I had this idea at the start of- at the start of-COVID, he was the first person that I called because he's widely regarded and respected as one of the most brilliant technical minds that exist.

He's a computer science graduate, but has then, you know, built engineering teams around the world. So it's him and we're really lucky that the team have followed him. So he knows the best of the best having spent 20 years in this space. So we've built this group of both partners and colleagues that have just followed a pioneer, which is a real privilege for us.

Steve: What was his reaction when he got that call? And you're like, let's go time. It's time to start the business.  

Liam: He was, so I've- I've-just had my first child, but he's- he's-got two daughters and one of his wife is pregnant and one of them is really young. So he was a little bit like let's see, like, let's just have a little look. And, the more we looked at it: A) the size of the opportunity was just unfathomably big because nobody had approached it the way we'd approached it. And, B) thankfully he backs me and we wanted to work together because we're very close friends as well. And I think that's really important in a co-founder, if you can get that complementary skills and a genuine friendship, because there's- there's-tough times and you have to have that respect for each other.

Steve: That's great. That's a great founding story. When I think about the years that have passed since then, KYB as a category has started to get more and more attention. There's new players in the market. There's funding that's come in. You've got some established entities like Dun Bradstreet that are out there. How would you say Detected is differentiating in the market?  

Liam: It's differentiating because it places an emphasis on customer experience and the customer that we're talking about, is our customer's customer because they're the people that pay the bills, right? We want to get them through as quickly as possible. We want to have the best experience as possible. We don't want them to churn and that's our core focus. What I see is that, because there's a broad opportunity in this space, a lot of vendors say they do a lot of things. You also have KYC vendors who say they do KYB because of the opportunity there. So it's become really confusing as a buyer. As a buyer in this space, if you have early sales calls with, you know, a range of providers, you very rarely get to what their secret sauce is, in those first couple of calls. Whereas for us, we're like, “Hey, we're going to make business onboarding in any country really fast and a great experience for your customers.” And that seems to be resonating. So we're going to keep going with that. 

Steve: You mentioned just a few moments ago that you focus on payments companies, but you also are working more and more with marketplaces. Are those the main categories of companies or what other types of companies might use Detected today? 

Liam: Yeah, they are. I mean, look, Thompson Reuters is both an investor in us and a customer. I mean, where would you place-where would you place-them in a category? I suppose there's a- there's a-whole mix that they offer. I just think that early stage businesses, if you don't have a focus, you end up sort of not being able to execute anywhere. So payments works for us. And we've signed some of the biggest payments companies on earth. So we've got those using us for their enterprise onboarding. We've got Buy Now, Pay Later businesses using us for- for-all of their onboarding, we've got a whole range, and within payments, you've got PSPs, ISOs, pay…[Payment Facilitators], there's a whole mix. So there's plenty to- plenty to-go around. 

Steve: You also mentioned that you can onboard businesses globally. Are there specific geographies that you focus in on, or is it really any country that has businesses? 

Liam: This is- this is-the beauty of it. And when- when-potential customers ask me this question, I say, “We've got European marketplaces using us to onboard Chinese business sellers.” And I think if you can say that, you put a real- you put a real-tick in the box.

The key here is that the data availability per country not only varies at a point in time, but then continues to change, based on the way the regulations change based on the way the data availability is. Because we've built infrastructure that allows our customers customers to self-certify within the flow based on specific requests, we can navigate the lack of data or the change in data simply by asking businesses to certify rather than be asked by email after the fact. So we're doing the same process, we're just putting the work at the front, which seems to be resonating.  

Steve: And do you find that your solution is best for a particular type of business entity that's being verified, or does it range across the entities that a company might encounter?

Liam: Yeah, it does. It does range. But I would say that the greatest successes we have is when it's enterprise businesses onboarding SMBs. So onboarding companies that are sort of less than 10, 15, 20 people where you put direct access to the owner of the company who will have a certificate of incorporation and will be the person you need to do an ID scan. So you can then pin all that to the screenings and build a picture of that company. We've got functionality within the platform to declare related entities and we pull all the UBO [Ultimate Beneficial Owner] structures and all that good stuff. But there are other businesses who have that as their core focus, the more sort of backend orchestrators on information that's already available. So I'd say it's the big, the big businesses onboarding the small businesses is our real sweet spot, especially internationally. 

Steve: I was looking at your website too, in preparation for this, and I see that you measure business onboarding in three ways. There's speed, cost reduction, and growth, which also has a churn angle. Are there any data points like before and after situations you can share, maybe Thompson Reuters or one of your payments companies, before you and after you?  

Liam: Yeah, It's interesting because the basis that we're working from is so bad if I said some of the numbers of some of the companies- A) They'd probably be pretty unhappy that I said where they were, and in some cases it's, you know, months. We're not talking KYC standards where it's done in seconds. We're talking months because the process is poor quality catch-all web form, record created in something like Salesforce, analyst reviews it, sees what's available, sends an email, goes back. So you come into this death loop, right? The thing we say is we want to improve those three metrics by 25% in the first month. So the time to onboard from the moment the business owner arrives and wants to sign up. Not from when they've submitted their application, because then that's a compliance metric. I'm talking about the whole thing. Twenty-five percent quicker, month one. And then we go on from there. Churn 25%, so we've got all the behavioral analytics from the users on the front end. So for example, if there are certain pages where the signposting isn't clear enough and people are dropping out, we'll catch that and we'll have a conversation with our customer and say, “You should probably be changing it.” So 25% less churn, so that would mean if a thousand businesses arrive on the site we want to reduce the number that drop out by 25%, just to be clear.

So time to revenue. So that's the last one. So how long does it take from the moment they arrive to the moment they want to make that as quick as possible? So yeah, and it's great because people often haven't measured these things before. That's another thing that fascinates me. I think about how many people drop out as part of your onboarding flow. Because it's owned by compliance and compliance are making sure they've got the right data points to approve. They're not necessarily concerned about what the experience is like and how many people drop out. But as soon as you get the attention of the CFO usually, they look at this and they go, “Oh, hang on. So the marketing dollars we're spending to get people to our site. We're wasting some of those and we've got people mopping this process up at the back end.” All of a sudden we become a really- a really-compelling proposition. 

Steve: Yeah, that's one of the big transitions that's happened in the last few years with the economy and KYC and certainly with the business onboarding is that marketing spin, there was plentiful, slowly shrunk, right? Companies aren't spending all about an acquisition. They're really looking to optimize, and you're spot on. If you're not measuring it, how can you possibly improve it? You have no before and after. So when you work with a new client, is there a consultative approach to helping them understand what metrics they should be tracking and baselining? How do you approach that? 

Liam: Yeah, the place we start is what do you have to know about a business to onboard them? And there's often scar tissue in an onboarding process. And what I mean by that is, they might be asking people to do an IDV, but do they need to for a specific product? They might be asking people to fill in certain questions, but do they need to? So we go, we scale it right back to essential. So our engagement is- is-often felt to be a bit of a spring clean. So we clean up the house and we say, “Right, what is it you actually have to have?” Once that's done, we then understand what the metrics that they have are, because it's  immaterial at that point, the second stage is that, and then we set some targets. We say, “Hey, let's let's keep this is limited and quick as possible. Get people through the process in minutes.” It's a joy. Honestly, you can see that I'm happy about it. The we're pushing on open doors because people haven't had these conversations before in business onboarding. They just haven't. And yeah, we're loving it. 

Steve: It's been an afterthought. It's like, Oh, let's get all the people, the consumers to the front door. And now really supporting businesses is key. You know, another thing I noticed when I was looking at the content within your website, how you describe your products, you had a very subtle note about AI on one of the elements. It wasn't noisy and big and bold all over the website, which is great. Cause a lot of companies have that now. Can you describe how you're leveraging AI through those, those three pillars of improvement? 

Liam: Yeah, it's- it's-about how, it's not so much in the in the front end, it's more in the sort of after the fact. So for example, you can build logic that says if a credit rating drops because we constantly monitor the profiles as well. So it's not just sort of in and done. They're constantly monitored for screenings and any changes in company data. So if a company doesn't file accounts or credit rating changes to the end, We call it Co-Pilot, we've not, this is probably actually the becoming the launch actually, because we've not really spoken about it to your point, because everybody is, we just tell our clients about it. If a credit rating drops to have an automated rule that that business owner should be contacted and asked to provide some more information to supplement the fact that there's been a change in their business. So this Co-Pilot runs alongside and make sure that those actions are completed rather than having to rely on people to do it. Thank you for the nod to say that we haven't put it everywhere. It is intentional, yeah, for good reason. 

Steve: In the market, it's important to show the innovations that a company is performing, but when every site has it big and bold it becomes a trend. So I think that that's great that you have that in there. When I think about AI, though, in the space, I often think about, think about it with respect to risks and businesses understand they need to satisfy regulatory requirements, compliance. What risks do you see emerging that come with the bad actors, with fraud? Does that play into the AI as well?

Liam: The shame is that everybody's got it built into their business model anyway. So they've got fat in the model. A lot of, so if you give the example of digital marketplaces, they'll onboard people and they'll let them trade, and to a certain threshold, and that- that-whole piece is built in, which that's partly as a result of not being able to optimize the onboarding process to make sure they screen people without the friction.

So we often talk about, do you have to make sacrifices in your compliance operations for the sake of a good customer experience? And our argument is that you don't. But a lot of people still see that you do. Okay, if the onboarding flow is great, clearly we don't know much about them. So we're, we're trying to be a champion for that change.

The risk- the risk-element is an interesting one for us because we are giving people the tooling to adhere to the risk levels that they have and the requirements that they have. I don't have to be the expert in risk. Honestly, we don't. Because there's teams of people in every single customer that we have that are the experts. We're just empowering them to make better choices based on the decisions that they've made and give them the tools to execute. So it might sound like a weak answer, but it's intentionally weak answer because we give the tools to allow the people who are genuinely the experts to do what they need to do.

Steve: No, it makes a lot of sense. You're effectively providing the operating system for them to make those decisions. So it sounds like you're not necessarily giving them the signal itself to make action on that. Is that a good summary?

Liam: Yeah, within the tool you can set up parameters that will highlight certain elements, but again it is that you're using the tool as it's designed to be used. I, you know, my team aren't going in and saying, we think you should be doing this, we think you should be doing that, because they know, they know what they need to be doing. We're just supporting them and doing it. 

Steve: Got it. Got it. Well, I want to shift a little bit into some of the regulatory things that are happening just here in the US, around the time we're recording this, there's a new law that went into effect that I have to fill out a form for myself. It's called the Corporate Transparency Act, which requires filing of beneficial owner information. I imagine more. countries will follow, perhaps maybe Europe and the UK already have some of those. How do you see the regulatory landscape evolving for business onboarding?

Liam:  Internationally, it gets intensely complicated. I do see that there is going to be a standardization internationally, especially with markets that trade regularly together, because as it stands at the moment, it is so complex, especially if you look at things like Brexit, where, now, Britain's not in the EU and there's different regulations. There has to be some unification of what is expected globally to onboard a business. Much beyond that, again, like I say, I'm just giving people the tools to react to them. And that's a big challenge, right? If you've got, embedded processes and you've got slow moving teams reacting to regulatory changes, almost impossible. Whereas without at all, there is a regulation change that's all can adapt and it can adapt quickly. So again, some consolidation of international regulations to make it a little bit more understandable. But outside of that, I'm just the kind of the tool that helps people do it.

Steve:  Yeah, that's great. Great insight. Just a few years ago, too, in the States, they had done a ruling that said that you had to do more business verification because many of the financial institutions in the US, at least, weren't doing that. They, Oh, this is all about the individual. But there are money laundering concerns with businesses. There are nesting and sanction concerns where like, if you have a business that owns a business that owns another business, like how do you know who's really that owner? So I think it's, it's fascinating. I think in part, that's why a lot of funding has poured in. And I was tracking some news on Detected. I see that just recently you secured another $2.5 million in funding from Thompson Reuters Ventures and Love Ventures. And this is on top of a 2.5 million pounds that you raised last year. Why these investors, maybe you answered earlier with one of them being a customer, why these, and what are you looking to do with the funds going forward?

Liam: So funny how different publications put it in pounds and dollars. So we've raised $10 million so far in total. I think to have a strategic, like Thompson was, this is a real seal. You know, it's a real vote of confidence from a business as, as big as those guys. The ventures team at Thomson Reuters is a brilliant, and I'm not saying that because they'll probably listen to this. I'm saying that because they are.  So, you've got Joe Damani who's, you know, my main contact. He sits on my- on my- on my-board now. The guy's brilliant. He helps and he cares, and he just wants things to go well and he gives great insights. And Tamara Steffens, who leads the ventures business, she used to- used to-run Microsoft Ventures. So she's a whole wealth of knowledge. So yeah, like I say, they're using the product. And they're a brilliant venture partner. They've reinvested, so they've now invested twice. Outside of that, Love Ventures is a UK  VC. They've reinvested as well. And the rest is just brilliant industry angels that genuinely believe in what we're doing and that we're going to make a change.

So what are we going to do with the money? Make sure we exist. Too many founders these days are just only really concerned about how much money they've raised and how many people they've got. Like, the absolute focus for me is making sure that we've got enough money to be safe, whatever happens. Because. I think if I took the money I was offered in the middle of ‘21, when everything was going boom, we'd probably be dead now. Because we'd have ended up adding loads of different products. We'd have added way too many people. And you've seen it. Those companies are now having to scale back focus. So we're going to keep our focus. We're going to keep our technical integrity by hiring the best in engineering. And we're going to just keep signing clients and making them happy. 

Steve: Well, it's, it's good to be prudent and somewhat frugal with the funds. I mean, they have deployed and invested money so that you could get it in the market and make action, but yeah, you're, you're absolutely right a lot of the money that was raised post pandemic, rapid hiring, rapid spending, and it's, there's been a pullback on that. What are some of the milestones that we can expect from Detected? They could be roadmap things you're working on, or other big events. Can you share anything publicly? 

Liam: Enhancements to our AI proposition. So some more automation in there to, to do things like taking regulation and adapt onboarding flows on that basis. Like that's a really sharp thing that we're working on. We're putting a lot of effort and investment into Salesforce and into our Salesforce app, because for detected to live natively in Salesforce is hugely powerful. It's the CRM of choice for most people. And it's the thing that compliance teams interact with on a daily basis. At the moment, things are fed in. We prefer to have our functionality live natively in Salesforce. So putting a lot of- a lot of-effort into that, they're the main things I'll share. 

Steve:  And where- where-is your team geographically based? People, UK, US, can you share more about?

Liam: Yeah. Yeah. UK, US. And then we have a, an offshore engineering partner that Pete and I have known for a long, long time that are based in India. It's interesting because we, of course, because we were founded in the pandemic or a remote first company. So we're really good at the remote thing. I spend a lot of time on calls like this. We do have an, we do have offices, US and London. But, I love the remote first thing. It's been- it's been-great for us and we've got people dotted all around and it works really well. 

Steve: It feels to me like remote work has really opened up the talent possibilities where before you might have felt constrained, like, well, you can only hire this- this-particular area allows you to work with anyone anywhere. Even though around this time of recording, there's some pullback, some companies are doing mandatory return to office. Larger corporates typically are mandating that, but that's great. 

Well, Liam, if you've seen any of these episodes of executive series, I like to wrap up with some things beyond the LinkedIn profile and sharing more about you as a person, and I was looking into your background, I see before you started the company, you took a career break and in that career break, you did some great things in Thailand and in Australia. Can you share a little bit more about that break and stuff that you did? 

Liam: So after rugby, I- I-just worked really hard for 10 years. And I just got to, I was working in San Francisco and I got to the stage where I thought, right, I'm 29 years old. I'm gonna have some time off because I don't know exactly what I want to do. I chased job titles and money and I've done those things that achieve those things. So I went and did Muay Thai in Thailand. I did security for musicians. So I toured the world with musicians. You'll probably see pictures of me and Ed Sheeran on my page.

I did CrossFit camps. I did free diving in Australia. I did all sorts of stuff. I sat in a camper van on my own for three weeks in Australia and I actually realized that I didn't need a plan that I'd made enough friends and not that many enemies on my way that whatever happened, I was going to end up finding out what was right for me. And then when I came back from that, my aunt passed away and the logistical challenges of COVID meant the medical equipment wasn't as available as it should have been. And that was- that was-the cause. And. I spoke to- I spoke to-a guy who was with Emirates Post and I asked why things weren't moving. And he was like, all these companies are cropping up and we can't work out who they are. And I was like, there's got to be a better way. So I asked him if he could send them a link that had some information pre filled and that they could do the rest, if that'd solve his problems. And he said, yes. And that's when I rang Pete.

Steve: Yeah, that's- that's-a great, great story. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. And it's these- these-personal impacts that really affect people when they go on to make change in the world. One of the other things I was looking at in your profile is you had this great TEDx talk about how schools and businesses can better support us as individuals. And one of the things you called out in that was strengths based leadership. And I'm just curious if you've ever done Gallup, if you've ever done StrengthsFinder if you have gone through that process.

Liam:  Do you know what? I think I probably have in years gone by. I can't remember what my scores were, but I, you know, I could tell you what my, what my strengths, [Steve: Yeah, let's hear it.] like without, without remembering the, the sections of Gallop. If I- if I-try and pin down the things that I'm great at, which I think we should all be able to do actually, and I don't think it's gloating or boasting or anything else is my work ethic. I won't be beaten. I'll outwork anybody and I will, much to my other half’s dismay, with our seven week old child next door. But work ethic and just EQ, and EQ such a such a hugely important thing, because if you can try and see the world through other people's eyes you'll understand what motivates them, what's important to them, what they care about, and then you can act accordingly. And that's where you build the best relationships.

It was Jack Ma that said that he eyes on EQ and IQ, right? It's absolutely fundamental. So yeah, I'd say it's literally just a work ethic and high EQ are the two things that I pride myself on. I don't know where they fit into that scale, but yeah. 

Steve: Yeah. Maybe there's a couple in there. Woo is one of them for if you have the ability to kind of have high EQ but get a refresh. I think the Gallup's StrengthsFinder, that's why connected to the Strengths Based Leadership, that program, a lot of companies at the time that came out were just focused on weaknesses. Like every annual review, what are you weak at? You know, what, what can be improved? Let's, let's lean into strengths. I found that to be  really great. 

Liam: If you're doing a show that you're celebrating people, your point about that interview review and like finding the negative things, like make, happy wins, right? And I speak to friends about this that are still athletes or are in the military and all that sort of stuff. And happy wins is such an important thing because I've never seen a musician or a sports dog. Be sad and go out and sing well or play well. And that, that to me is the biggest thing. I want to make sure that people are doing the thing that they're great at. Because then they're going to be happy. And then when they're happy, they're even better at the thing they're great at. It sounds a little bit fluffy, but it seems to be working.  

Steve: Positivity is important mindset. That's key in your sports background. Like we tell you a lot of that, you know, you got to have a winning attitude. Well, Liam, we're at time for, for today. This has been a phenomenal conversation. Thank you for, for sharing the history of Detected. If anyone's listening to this, what types of conversations would you be interested in having from the audience? 

Liam: I would love for people to ask me to give them a view on their current process. Because they probably have a view on that process already. If you want to make onboarding faster, onboard more people and have a better experience, then we need to have at least a conversation. And we've not got a pushy style. We just tell you what we've got, listen to what you've got. And the two things usually match up because everybody's doing a job that could be improved in this space. So, how you, yeah that’s it… 

Steve: And for those that are watching or listening, how should they connect with you or with Detected? The best format?

Liam: Website is very simply, because I was cheap at the start slash run out of money, it's Detected.co. We haven't got .com, we've just got .co, so Detected.co get in touch with us via the website. Yeah, any, no questions too silly. I'd love to speak to you.  

Steve: All right. Well, I'll be sure to provide links to your website.

Liam, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I really look forward to watching your continued success in the market and growth and solving the business identity verification problem. 

Liam: Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. Enjoyed it.

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