Identitypass, a Lagos-based digital security platform, has secured seed funding of US$2.8 million to expand its biometric identity verification service across Africa.
Marc Ventures Capital led the investment, with participation from Y Combinator, Soma Capital, True Capital Fund, and Sherwani Capital LP, among others.
The funds will be used to expand the company’s current facilities, launch new verticals in compliance, security, and data collecting, and hire more people to join its 14-person team.
Identitypass compares fingerprints and faces, performs ID checks, and graphs identities.
It aims to fulfill the growing demands for know your customer (KYC) across Africa, as internet access and mobile penetration increases, resulting in more online businesses and security vulnerabilities.
Customers will be onboarded quickly, identity theft will be protected, and firms’ compliance rates with anti-money laundering (AML) and KYC standards will be optimized, according to the company.
The startup presently uses OTPs or a four-pin password for basic authentication, but by establishing Identitypass, it sought to broaden its authentication choices.
By playing a role in cracking down on identity theft with biometrics, the platform will foster business growth in Africa as it enables businesses to develop a more positive reputation.
The company is already serving 200 businesses in Nigeria, the UK, Kenya, the U.S., and India. The company has also joined the Secure Identity Alliance as an associate member to support its OSIA initiative, and recently launched operations in Sierra Leone.
The funding comes at a time when mobile penetration in Africa is growing impressively at about 46% as more people come online for the very first time.
As the rate of mobile and internet penetration increases so do the rates of fraud and cybercrime.
According to a report, African businesses lose US$4 billion annually to cybercrime. The global figure for this occurrence stands at US$1 trillion
As a result, African fintech and digital enterprises must do thorough KYC and verification checks on their customers.
To combat fraud, Identitypass has addressed several Nigerian agencies and authorities to obtain the necessary licenses and certificates for authorizing checks across a wide range of verification points.
For its next stage of growth, Identitypass will focus on expanding its existing infrastructure and growing across Africa with new vertical products and services that track how users’ data is being used across the internet.
It also intends to launch products that will assist clients in identifying their customers, collaborate with regulatory agencies to develop a data security framework for Africa, and form strategic alliances and partnerships with African countries.