Identity verification platform Onfido bags $100m from TPG
Onfido, the identity verification start-up which helps financial institutions meet know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, has just landed a $100 million investment.
The round was led by Airbnb and Uber backer TPG Growth, adding to Onfido’s last funding round nearly a year ago of $50 million which saw participation from Microsoft, Salesforce and SoftBank affiliate SBI.
Founded by three Oxford University graduates in 2012, the London and California-based start-up uses artificial intelligence (AI) to “read” identity documents, and then uses facial recognition to verify individuals.
Onfido currently works with an array of major banks, government bodies and recruitment businesses.
The start-up says it will use the fresh capital to expand its existing business, create an alternative “identity verification” layer for the internet which would replace social logins popularised by tech giants such as Facebook, and work on a new set of case studies.
The need for these case studies comes from the disruption caused by the coronavirus to societies around the world. They will look at concepts such as virtual voting, verifying people for passport and visa applications remotely, and contact tracing to track the spread of a virus.
The real challenge for Onfido, as for many start-ups in the identity verification space, is to create solutions which are both accurate for businesses rolling them out, and non-invasive in terms of privacy for users on the other end.
Read more: How selfies can make us all safer
“Identity is broken and needs fixing,” Onfido’s co-founder and CEO Husayn Kassai told TechCrunch.
“That’s been a large part of our focus, and as time goes on, our processes in digitisation, privacy and security have been proven out in parallel with how the world is shifting.”
If Onfido was to create an alternative “identity verification” layer off the back of this funding, in theory it would only have to verify users once.
Whilst this could avoid storing personal information, some sectors will still have to abide by regulations which require information to be kept on hand.
Investor TPG says it can see Onfido “becoming the new standard for digital access”.
“Onfido’s use of AI to develop market leading tech is extraordinary,” says TPG Growth partner Mike Zappert in a statement.
“There is enormous demand for secure and simple identity verification and authentication across major sectors and we see Onfido becoming the new standard for digital access.”
Read next: The ABCs of eKYC