Why We Decided to Give Away SEON for Free

Why We Decided to Give Away SEON for Free

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by Tamas Kadar

It might seem like a bold move to give away your software with very few limitations, though you are a for-profit company. 

But launching SEON Free was, in a way, the logical next step in SEON’s upwards trajectory.

From the day Bence Jendruszak and I decided to launch our own fraud prevention business, back in 2017, through to becoming the most successful startup in the history of Hungary with our Series A and then our Series B funding, the idea of democratizing fraud prevention was key to our vision.

What does democratizing fraud fighting mean?

  • Making fraud prevention accessible. We want to create a fraud-free world, protect vulnerable people and help all kinds of businesses fight fraud with confidence.
  • Being industry-agnostic. Today, every business operating online is at risk of being targeted by fraudsters, not just specific sectors. 
  • Catering to small businesses. Many anti-fraud companies tailor their products to big enterprises only. That can be profitable – but we always wanted to also look out for the little guy. This way, small businesses can build their way up.
  • Being open and granular. SEON’s technology isn’t hidden away behind a paywall, only for our customers to discover. Our documentation is available for anyone to read, and our strategies are shared openly on our website.

In fact, we have provided a free, no-card-required trial of our full functionality for years. 

Also, the manual searches of our digital footprint analysis using an email address or phone number are open to all, and our free Chrome extension has been making them even easier for fraud and other investigations.

We do this because we know our product works, and we do this because it helps democratize fraud prevention.

So no, it wasn’t a hard decision to start giving away our solutions for free.

Our sector is rapidly expanding and many have already recognized us as pioneers. Some of our solutions and strategies are unique in the fraud prevention market.

So SEON might be doing well, but fraudsters are also doing particularly well. In 2021 alone, online transactions rose by 65%. How about fraud in the same year? Fraud in 2021 rose by 233%. 

Today, it’s easier than ever for a fraudster to get started. We’ve seen so many new ways to buy and sell stolen credentials, conduct social engineering, intercept and take over accounts… We’ve even seen the emergence of Fraud-as-a-Service.

And let’s not forget that fraud is a vicious circle. Fraudsters help each other out, and one fraud leads to another. A phishing attack leads to stolen identities, which enables more fraud. An account takeover can provide opportunities for money laundering. Proceeds from loan fraud can fund fraud rings. 

Sometimes, our mission seems impossible. 

So opening SEON up to use for free, forever, with a few limitations, will do its part to reduce fraud out there. For many smaller companies, the Free Plan will be sufficient to protect them, and will enhance their manual checks when trying to avoid false positives. 

And if you’re wondering how this can be profitable for an up-and-coming startup like ours?

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. 

We know this will result in more sales, as more and more people come to experience the granular, real-time approach to fraud prevention and alternative data.

After all, that small business we’re helping for free today may choose to come back to work with us once it’s scaled up.

And even if it doesn’t, we’ve helped to reduce fraud around the world. And that’s our mission.

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Tamas Kadar

Tamás Kádár is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of SEON. His mission to create a fraud-free world began after he founded the CEE’s first crypto exchange in 2017 and found it under constant attack. The solution he built now reduces fraud for 5,000+ companies worldwide, including global leaders such as KLM, Avis, and Patreon. In his spare time, he’s devouring data visualizations and injuring himself while doing basic DIY around his London pad.

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