Yinglian Xie and Fang Yu, co-founders of DataVisor, were recently interviewed on GGV996, a Chinese blog focused on technology from GGV Capital Partners. Yinglian and Fang discussed the growth of China’s Internet market, female entrepreneurship in China’s high-tech industry, and how DataVisor uses Unsupervised Machine Learning to fight fraud.
China's Growing Online Market
China has the largest number of Internet users the world and online transactions are an increasingly important part of the Chinese economy as a whole. In recent years, Chinese companies have realized the importance of new technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence for the digital transformation and future growth.
“The Chinese market is very large. There are many successful Internet service companies. In addition, many traditional enterprises are rapidly turning to the Internet. More importantly, Chinese companies are now very willing to use new technologies like big data and artificial intelligence to help them grow,” said Yinglian Xie, CEO of DataVisor. “For example, Momo, a leading Chinese social network, IPOed just three and a half years after its founding. CEO Tang Yan met us for the first time at a Starbucks near Stanford University, and after we introduced DataVisor’s anti-fraud solution, he was very interested in working with us. Momo became DataVisor’s first Chinese customer.“
Yinglian Xie explained that DataVisor has been in China for less than two years but has already obtained a large number of Chinese customers, including famous companies such as Alibaba, Cheetah Mobile, Momo, Toutiao, and Dianping. DataVisor’s China team has over 30 people and the company has offices in Beijing and Shanghai. “There are many fast-growing companies like Momo in China. Their businesses are growing rapidly, their teams are young, and they lack experience in anti-fraud. This is where DataVisor can help.”
DataVisor CTO Fang Yu said, “When we first entered China, we weren’t sure how quickly we could succeed as a US-based company. We quickly found that the Chinese market is growing rapidly, oftentimes with more complex and customized fraud detection needs than the US. In less than one year, China became a large part of our new customer growth.” To this end, DataVisor has set up support and R&D teams for both China and the United States. “DataVisor is a technology-driven company. Because we only hire the most talented engineers, we grew our team slowly at first. However, by keeping our standards high and building an amazing core of engineering talent, we’ve ensured that the quality of our product remains high even as our growth takes off” she added.
Female Entrepreneurs in High-Tech Fields
The technology industry is fiercely competitive and highly dynamic, and the pace of work can be stressful. In both the US and China, female entrepreneurs often face additional challenges. How do they overcome these obstacles?
Yinglian Xie believes that the high-tech field is not exclusive to men given the many outstanding women in the field in both the US and China. Women are focused and can work hard for their goals. “Starting a business is easy. The hard part comes in running it successfully day to day.”
Yinglian Xie also stated that competition in the high-tech field is indeed extremely fierce, posing greater challenges for female entrepreneurs because there are fewer role models at senior levels, and women often don’t have access to the same social connections that men do. Yinglian points out that “Although we are women, our family, investors, and friends have long supported us.”
“I encourage female engineers with dreams to boldly pursue them. We hope that the entire society can support women who start businesses.”
DataVisor's Unique Innovations
Yinglian and Fang also discussed how DataVisor uses artificial intelligence to detect and prevent online fraud. They believe that traditional anti-fraud has been unable to cope with the growth in quantity, sophistication, and coordination of online fraud. As digital transactions grow ever more important in the world economy, advanced artificial intelligence technologies such as unsupervised machine learning are becoming critical tools to fight fraud.
Fang Yu said that while digitization brings convenience to human society, many criminals are abusing digital technology to increase the complexity and scale of their attacks. Existing fraud detection systems like supervised machine learning and rules engines are simply unable to keep up with modern, rapidly changing attacks.
DataVisor was founded in 2013 and has signed a large number of well-known customers around the world including Alibaba, Toutiao, Yelp, Pinterest, Momo, Dianping, and Cheetah Mobile. DataVisor’s fraud detection platform, which combines the unsupervised machine learning engine at its the core with supervised learning, the automated rules engine, the global intelligence network, and other detection and analysis technologies has helped customers detect more fraud more accurately and with better coverage.
DataVisor currently protects more than 4 billion users, and over 140 million malicious users identified. “Artificial intelligence has brought disruptive changes to many industries, and we firmly believe that DataVisor’s Unsupervised Machine Learning technology will be similarly disruptive to the fraud detection industry,” Yinglian Xie concluded.
About GGV996 & GGV Jiyuan Capital
“GGV996” is a blog written by Hans Tung, managing partner of GGV Capital Partners, and Zara Zhang, an investment analyst. Guests included Yang Zhiyuan (founder of Yahoo), Wu Enda (former Baidu chief scientist), and Li Kaifu (former president of Google Greater China, founder of Innovation Workshop).
GGV Jiyuan Capital is a venture capital institution focusing on early and mid-term companies in China and the United States. As one of the earliest venture capital funds investing in Chinese companies in Silicon Valley, GGV has invested in Alibaba, Didi Chuxing, Where, YY, Airbnb, Square, Wish, Xiao Hongshu, and more than 200 other companies.
As the leading provider of online fraud and financial crime detection services, DataVisor is committed to utilizing the most advanced artificial intelligence technologies, especially unsupervised learning algorithms and big data applications, to maximize the protection of users and businesses. In October 2015, DataVisor won the A-round financing led by GSR and New Enterprise Associates; in May 2016, we won the B-round investment of Yuansheng Capital and established the Chinese branch in the same year. In February 2018, we received a $40 million Series C financing led by Sequoia Capital China Fund.