[CONTENU PARTENAIRE] Infolegale is a company specializing in commercial information. It is aimed at companies of all sizes and all sectors of activity, who want to deepen their knowledge of their business partners using information for decision-making in companies and their managers. Infolegale provides them with relevant indicators so that they can assess and control the risks that occur with their third parties. More than 2,000 customers have already used it. Today, Infolegale aims to become a global player in securing third party risks in SaaS mode. Explanations with its CEO, Bertrand Laffay.
How does Infolegale support companies?
We are two founding partners who created Infolegale in 2008: Frédéric Julien and me. The goal is to inject value back into the business intelligence market for the benefit of users. Historically, companies have need for legal, capital and financial information with the partners they want to work with.
The ambition of the Infolegale group is to enable them to continue their business relationship. We help them identify third parties (customers, suppliers, partners) and evaluate the risks created by entering into a relationship. Other activities also came to complement the initial position. They are established together with other companies in the market, to cover a larger type of risk and provide specific information that companies expect.
The company Sis ID, in which Infolegale is based, thus offers security indicators of payment fraud. It collects and analyzes the payment behavior of companies to fight, in a collaborative way, against the risk of bank fraud and identity theft. Another company, Conformitee, also a capital holder of Infolegale, offers a platform dedicated to banks for collection. KYC (Know Your Customer) information within the framework of LCB-FT regulations (Fight Against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism).
Finally, managing customer accounts is one of our main concerns. As such, we assess the risk of third party insolvency with a default risk indicator of 12 months. Our recent acquisition of Covline, a company specializing in collection and credit risk management software, allows us to support companies in the digitalization of receivables management. These different activities help us to multiply information channels and on develop more relevant indicators.
What are the risks involved in business relationships?
Above all, you should make sure that the third party company is very reliable, and that it is not a fraud or a scammer. Infolegale has been set up indicators to measure the risk of fraud incurred by approaching a particular company. Our platform also offers the possibility ofchecking the solvency of a company.
In addition, it is important to ensure that entering into a relationship complies with various regulations. I think especially about hidden occupational risk : every company must comply with the so-called due diligence obligations when choosing a supplier, but also regulations related to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism and, since the entry into force of the Sapin 2 law, the fulfillment of obligations in terms of corruption risk prevention, which requires companies to carry out several methods to evaluate the level of risk in terms of corruption.
The geopolitical crisis we are going through and the sanctions imposed on many Russian companies and personalities in particular, illustrates the need to evaluate this type of risk continuously and reactively.
Finally, and in order to offer global assessment solutions to companies, we have positioned ourselves to offer indicators in terms of cybersecurity and DCSR assessment.
How can you make this information available for businesses?
We offer solutions in SaaS mode (Software as a Service). Therefore they provide access to all information and indicators of companies through an online platform, APIs and daily email alerts. This information is based on the collection and production of qualitative and discriminative data.
Originally, Infolegale was based on public source such as the Sirene database of Insee, the National Register of Commerce and Companies (RNCS) published by Inpi, or the National Register of Associations (RNA).
However, some data, which are very interesting for knowing a company and its environment, and very biased in the evaluation of risks, are not visible in these public sources. This is why Infolegale also produces its own information.. For example, we build databases of companies’ capital relations, statutory and balance sheet information as well as reputation information. This includes surveys conducted directly by companies or through collaborative collection.
Infolegale is actually distinguished among collaborative information gathering programs with its ecosystem: our customers and partners, for example, provide us with information on inter-company payment behavior. This method of data collection and processing then requires expertise specific to Infolegale. This is because this information is very discriminating the reports we distribute are relevant and the scores in companies more predictive.
We also collect the complete legal events published by companies and their managers, thus showing all the actions that affect their activity. This includes the collection of legal notices published in authorized media (newspapers and official publication sites). Thus, Infolegale is a partner in all French press titles (paper or digital) that publish legal notices. Thus we collect more than 80,000 editions per year and enter more than 1,300,000 announcements and events that we transcribe and compile in databases.
What are the steps after collecting or generating data?
The data must then be interpreted, analyzed, corrected and structured. From there, statistical analysis and artificial intelligence feed indicators to anticipate risks. These indicators are returned in a simple way, in the form of scores: fraud score, solvency score, etc., the scoring methods specific to each type of risk.
For solvency risk, for example, score out of 20 then assigned to all entities with economic activity, including inactive ones (in this case, it is 0).
To measure the risk of corruption, the legal assessment is scored from A to E, this is supplemented by a reputation assessment by score out of 100. If a company gets a score of less than 50, it means that at least one of the stakeholders (a manager, a beneficial owner, a shareholder, etc.) has allowed corruption or appears to blacklists or sanctions lists. The company, if it wants to work with this entity, must surround itself with important precautions to justify to the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) its decision to enter into a business relationship.
What would you say to convince a company to use Infolegale?
Our information is differentiated by its quality and its predictability. Its complexity and innovation allow companies to anticipate different risks. Assessing solvency risk, for example, is more valuable if we know that the companies gave each other 800 billion euros in debt every year. This is three times more than bank credit allocated by French banks to businesses. However, a quarter of business failures are due to delays or failure to pay, because the companies concerned do not notice the deterioration of a company’s financial health.
Having reliable and reactive information on third parties is all the more important, due to the economic situation: rising costs of energy and raw materials, geopolitical instability, recruitment difficulties, excessive debt of companies which is linked to PGEs to pay… Many factors contribute to the increase in failures and the development of fraudulent behavior. Infolegale analysts thus noted an increase of + 16% in the last 12 months, and + 50% for the last quarter.
This is why more and more operational decision makers are asking for information on companies to ensure their decision making. So agility is an integral part of our DNA. In addition, since the onset of the health crisis, we have quickly adapted our scoring models. A specific Covid risk indicator enables companies to reassess the level of risk in their third party portfolio.
Other indicators must be created or integrated to adapt our solutions to the changing context, and allow our customers to wait and not to react. Also, and thanks to the entry of the NextStage fund, which joined Infolegale in April 2022 during the financing round of €13 million, we acquired Covline in May 2022. This enabled us to complete our solutions around the client’s position , and to accelerate our development by consolidating particular CSR and Cyber risk assessment solutions, to has become a global French player in securing BtoB risks in SaaS mode.
This content was created with SCRIBEO. The BFMBUSINESS editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.