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Tech Executive Loos Joins Ferret as Chief Operating Officer

The El Dorado Hills resident was president of Pondera Solutions, which was acquired two years ago by Thomson Reuters.

Greg Loos, a veteran IT executive with deep roots in the greater Sacramento area, has been named chief operating officer for Ferret.

Greg Loos new mug.JPG
Greg Loos
Loos most recently served as vice president for risk, fraud and compliance with Thomson Reuters. The El Dorado Hills resident joined Thomson Reuters in March 2020 when the company purchased Pondera Solutions of Folsom, of which Loos had been president. Before Pondera, Loos had been a key executive with Oracle for 23 years.

“I’ve been on board a couple of weeks” with Ferret, Loos told Industry Insider — California. “It’s been really exciting.”

Ferret specializes in “relationship intelligence that can help you avoid high-risk individuals and spot promising opportunities,” using information that’s publicly available online, according to the company website. Ferret has developed an app and other tools designed to provide users with “real-time risk-assessment intelligence on potential investors, business partners and others.”

Ferret was co-founded by entrepreneur Rob Loughan and technologist Al MacDonald, according to a company news release announcing the appointments of Loos as COO and veteran tech exec Melissa Yearta as director of marketing. Loughan is a pioneer in apps and software as a service and co-founded one of Silicon Valley's earliest unicorns, Octane Software, which sold for a record $3.2 billion in 2001.

“Greg’s in-depth executive experience in the fraud-detection industry will be invaluable as we scale up,” Loughan said in the news release. “Early on as an angel investor, I was defrauded for $1.5 million. I vowed then to pursue a way to help others avoid the same plight. Now that machine-learning technology has caught up with my ambition, I welcome Greg and Melissa to the Ferret team as we pursue our dream of making risk-assessment data affordable and accessible to everyone – not just government agencies and financial institutions.”

Loos has his priorities established, he said: “The first and most obvious is getting our product to market,” he said. “We’re getting close to launch, so spending a bit of time on that. Also building up our sales and marketing force … and then the outreach piece with both media and social media.”

Loos said Ferret is focused on the private market for now, but he anticipates offering products to the California public sector in the future. The company uses machine learning, natural language processing and sentiment analysis and plans to offer push notifications as a user’s target information is updated. Rollout is expected within 30 days, he said.

“We do see a lot of government use cases that will come aboard as governments catch up, if you will, with the private sector in the delivery of information,” he said. “We’re trying to bring very curated data about people and businesses to mobile devices so people can make decisions about whether they do business with you.” He said potential uses may include online dating or, in some parts of the world, arranged-marriage services.

“I like to help people,” Loos said, “and I like to be part of a business that’s essentially preventing bad things from happening to good people, and that’s exactly what Ferret does. It brings just the information you need to know back to the mobile device and says, ‘Did you know?’ There are financial-ramification uses cases … there are safety-related cases. … it serves a bigger purpose than just a subscription to a data contract.”

Loos said he looks forward to the Ferret app “being in milions of pockets” as more individuals begin using the service on their mobile devices.

Loos received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University and is a graduate of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business as part of its executive program.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.