Panoplia.io combats cyber fraud in India with AI-backed solutions

Founded by Pratyusha Vemuri, Panoplia.io is an AI-based cybersecurity firm that seeks to protect users from online scams and enhance security of financial transactions in the digital space through advanced fraud prevention solutions.

Panoplia.io combats cyber fraud in India with AI-backed solutions

Thursday November 23, 2023,

5 min Read

Tempted by a Diwali sale two years ago, Pratyusha Vemuri clicked on an online advertisement for a swing. It led her to a dubious ecommerce site, which swindled Rs 5,000 from her and did not deliver the swing. 

When Vemuri reported the incident to the police, she became aware that online scams were a widespread problem with people falling for them every day, leading to huge financial losses every year. 

“Sponsored ads seem to be everywhere, making it quite tempting for people to click on them. And that’s precisely what happened to me,” says Vemuri. 

According to a survey by Norton LifeLock in 2020, Rs 1.24 trillion was lost in India in the preceding 12 months due to cybercrimes, with 63% of victims incurring financial loss. 

Having been a victim of an online scam herself, Vemuri felt a deep urge to develop a solution that would protect users from online scams and help them conduct secure transactions in the digital space. This calling ultimately led to the birth of Panoplia.io in April this year. 

Panoplia.io is an AI-based cybersecurity firm that provides advanced fraud prevention solutions to consumers and businesses. The founders’ aim is to safeguard users from cyber fraud and enhance the security of digital transactions. 

Panoplia.io seeks to offer advanced real-time fraud detection and prevention solutions using algorithms, machine learning models, and real-time monitoring systems. It also leverages patented AI and blockchain technology to safeguard the digital identities of users.

“Panoplia is a Greek word that stands for ‘armour’. Our vision is to enhance every interaction, click and call, with a focus on building a safer future,” says Vemuri, Founder and CEO of Hyderabad-based Panoplia.io. 

Prior to starting up, Vemuri was the head of product identity, security and privacy at Microsoft. Her expertise is underpinned by a 19-year-old professional stint in the cybersecurity and fraud prevention domains. Throughout her career, Vemuri has been associated with prominent cybersecurity firms, including Zscaler, Palo Alto Networks, and Akamai. 

Product offering

Consumers can download Panoplia’s app–called AI Kavach–on Google Play Store. The app, which is priced between Rs 99 and 179 per year, offers consumers protection from fraudulent websites, messages and apps. Consumers can also earn real money from customer referrals and badges and merchandise for reporting fraud.  

Panoplia.io makes real-time predictions about the legitimacy of a website or app, determining if it is fraudulent or not. 

Whenever consumers land on a website through an online ad or while accessing popular platforms such as Google, Instagram and Facebook, they receive a pop-up alert if the content is suspected to be fraudulent. The app also detects fraudulent SMSes and prevents users from clicking on any suspicious links in the message. 

AI Kavach also monitors financial transactions in real time and flags suspicious activities. It employs machine learning to detect patterns indicative of fraudulent payments and prevents QR code frauds and mobile payment scams. 

Panoplia.io’s platform caters to customers in Tier I, Tier II and III cities and offers support in many local languages, including English, Hindi, Telugu and Marathi. 

Leveraging AI and deep learning

The startup relies on deep learning and AI tech to tackle the rise of new-age scams, which themselves use deep learning techniques to devise convincing baits. 

For instance, phishing campaigns and malicious ad targeting use deep learning algorithms to analyse a target’s online behaviour, understand their preferences, browsing patterns, history, and activities. Scammers then use this information to create targeted messages that appear legitimate but actually lead users to fake websites designed to steal personal information.

“Our platform can leverage deep learning techniques for fraud detection, staying a step ahead of fraudsters,” says Vemuri. 

“It’s important to note that we don’t track or store any personal data. When a user visits a website through platforms like Google or Instagram, we only track the URL in real time and nothing else related to the user,” she adds. 

Growth and expansion

The startup, which operates as a bootstrapped venture, relying on funds from family, friends, and advisors, has also received incubation support from organisations such as Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, Data Security Council of India, T-Hub incubator, and NASSCOM 10,000 Startups.

Panoplia.io has also established partnerships with local government agencies to receive timely notifications and insights on emerging fraud trends.

Vemuri says AI Kavach has witnessed 5x growth and 8% conversion rate from downloads to paid subscription four months since its launch, with over 25,000 downloads on Google Play Store. 

As part of its expansion strategy, the company aims to enter the B2B space to offer solutions such as phishing prevention, fraudulent website detection, real-time transaction security, and continuous website monitoring. It is in talks with potential customers. 

The startup’s go-to-market strategy going forward includes forging partnerships with e-commerce firms to provide its solution as a value-added service and collaborating with mobile carriers to pre-install its app on phones. 

Panoplia also plans to create a community wherein users can report frauds, discuss issues anonymously, and get help immediately if they fall prey to a fraud. 

(The story was updated to correct a factual error.)


Edited by Swetha Kannan

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