Tech City Labs Launches New Data Product To Help Organisations Tackle Mini Umbrella Fraud

Posted by Tech City Labs

An innovative early warning system for credit reference companies and supply chain professionals

Tech City Labs has launched a new data product, Storm Warning, which leverages artificial intelligence to detect fake companies likely to be associated with Mini Umbrella fraud. The product tracks UK Company Registrations in real time, analysing dozens of signals to determine whether a company is at risk of being fraudulent.

HMRC is cracking down on Mini Umbrella Company (MUC) fraud. But until now, there has been no way to locate fraudulent companies without time-consuming manual investigation. Tens of thousands of fraudulent mini-umbrella companies are created every year to abuse employment allowances and commit VAT fraud. Companies which fail to do proper due diligence on their supply chain may be liable for the tax and NI contributions of companies they do business with; they also may be unable to recover VAT payments or even be criminally prosecuted with an unlimited fine.

Storm Warning solves this problem, using machine learning to detect the signs that a company may be fraudulent as soon as it is registered. The product is built on data from Companies House, using Tech City Labs’ RealTimeFinancials data set and DataNexus indexing platform. The company’s sophisticated models have learned the patterns of suspicious behaviour and provide users with a list of organisations that present a heightened risk of fraud. This can be delivered through daily data files, an API integration or email alerts via Tech City Labs’ monitoring system.

The product is already making an impression on customers. Greg Connell, Managing Director of Connell Data, said: "This product fills a real gap in the market: MUC fraud has been on the increase for years, and it's great to see a solution that can help us detect it early."

Tech City Labs founder, Benjamin Sims, had this to say: "We invested years building up our data processing platform to be able to process UK company data at scale. We're delighted to be able to offer our first machine learning product, Storm Warning, to credit reference companies and supply chain professionals. It will help them protect themselves from Mini Umbrella fraud."

To learn how Storm Warning could help you detect potential fraud early, contact Rebecca Halifax, Commercial and Operations Director, at



We already do Supply Chain due diligence, how will this help further?

Storm Warning provides an automated, at a glance indication as to whether an organisation is likely to be fraudulent. This saves you a huge amount of time, enabling companies to jump straight into addressing red flags in the early stages of your supply chain due diligence.

What is the time lag between a new company registering and it being available within Storm Warning?

The details of each new company are accessible in Storm Warning within minutes of data becoming available via Companies House.

When new companies are registered are they included within the product or do I have to purchase a Storm Warning update?

Storm warning is a monthly subscription service that provides access to the complete data set.

How can I integrate Storm Warning into our existing supply chain due diligence process?

Ask your existing credit reference agent if they are leveraging Storm Warning, or contact us for a direct integration.

I would like to find out more about Storm Warning, who can I contact?

Please contact Rebecca Halifax, Commercial and Operations Director, at