African ID verification platform Smile Identity nabs $20m Series B
African know your customer (KYC) onboarding and identity verification platform Smile Identity has secured $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Costanoa and Norskenn22.
Also participating in the round were Commerce Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Two Culture Capital, Valuestream Ventures, Intercept Ventures, Latitude, Future Africa and 500 Fintech.
This latest funding round brings Smile Identity’s total capital raised to date to $31 million, including a $7 million Series A held in 2021.
Founded in 2016 with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, Smile Identity equips companies with digital onboarding, biometric authentication, deduplication and anti-fraud checks, and KYC and Know Your Business (KYB) compliance solutions.
It helps firms verify the identity of their customers using machine learning technology “designed specifically” for African devices, faces and data. Since its Series A, Smile Identity claims to have completed 50 million KYC checks for “hundreds of partners” across the African continent.
With the fresh funding, Smile Identity will expand its product and engineering teams, and accelerate development of its AI-led biometrics, document verification, anti-fraud and compliance solutions. It also intends to expand across Africa and enter Francophone and Arab-speaking markets.
“We believe the majority of people are honest,” says Mark Straub, CEO and co-founder of Smile Identity.
“The challenge in the digital age is to prove this, regardless of how a user onboards – whether via agents, apps, tablets, the web, blockchains or paper forms.”
Straub adds that with the support of investors, Smile Identity aims to tackle this problem “across IDs, devices and compliance regimes to ensure Africans are among the most trusted consumers in the world”.