Finovate Global Hong Kong: Chekk Brings Digital Identity Tech to Bain Capital – and Raises Capital of its Own

Finovate Global Hong Kong: Chekk Brings Digital Identity Tech to Bain Capital – and Raises Capital of its Own

It’s been nearly five years since Hong Kong-based Chekk made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia. The company, co-founded by CEO Pascal Nizri, is a B2B2C digital identity ecosystem that shifts ownership of personal data from businesses to individuals as part of its strategy to provide better, more seamless identity verification services.

“We all know how reluctant Internet users have become to share personal data online,” Chekk co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin Petit said from the Finovate stage during his company’s demo. “On the other side regulators are forcing banks and financial service providers to collect an increasing amount of data for compliance reasons. And this done during lengthy and painful KYCs that are costly for banks.”

Via a mobile app, Chekk empowers individuals to own their own personal data and control how much of their data they share. At the same time, businesses get access to a secure online or API-based platform that enables them to make data requests and conduct other customer interactions – from onboarding due diligence and ID verification to secure messaging for chats and statements – seamlessly.

Chekk’s SaaS solutions help the company’s retail, private, and corporate customers manage a range of digital identity and data portability challenges and operations. These include multi-language AML checks, including Arabic, Russian, and Chinese, as well as identity verification for more than 200 countries, biometric digital signatures, tools to create and maintain digital forms, a secure encrypted data wallet, and global connectivity to more than 400 million business data sources.

Bain Capital is the latest financial institution to choose Chekk as its partner when it comes to digital identity verification. With $155 billion in assets, the Boston-based alternative investment firm announced in July that it will leverage Chekk’s technology to provide KYB verification for businesses, merchants, and third parties, as well as KYC for individual customers.

The Bain partnership news comes in the wake of Chekk’s announcement of a significant investment (described as “multi-million dollar”) in a round led by HSBC Alternatives, a wing of HSBC Asset Management. The funding builds on previous funding from investors such as SOSV and LeFonds, a pair of venture capital firms, as well as individual investor David Gurle, founder of Symphony Communications Services.

“Thanks to its founders’ hands-on experience, Chekk is building a suite of services that extends well beyond compliance-driven KYC/KYB and puts commercial relationships at the core of its value proposition,” HSBC Asset Management Head of Venture and Growth Investments Remi Bourrette said. “This resonates with our fintech fund’s themes of improving access to financial services while managing the risks arising from criminal activities.

Have we arrived at a reckoning for Hong Kong-based fintech? While the clamp down on Big Tech in China has gotten most of the attention from international technology analysts and observers, the impact on fintech developments in Hong Kong have been relatively overlooked. A recent survey conducted by Google and financial consultancy Quinlan & Associates suggests that the fintech industry in Hong Kong could be in for challenging times.

Specifically, the survey revealed that 60% of the 120+ C-suite executives from early- and late-stage private fintechs contacted felt that Hong Kong was “relatively uncompetitive compared to other fintech hubs.” Among the reasons cited were the city’s regulatory environment, which was viewed as “costly, complex, and time-consuming,” as well as a “talent gap” that had been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. This talent gap extends beyond technical and product innovation roles to include sales and marketing talent, as well.

Hong Kong has been responsive to these challenges, according to a report from South China Morning Post. The city’s central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, unveiled a four-year plan in June – the Greater Bay Fintech Talent Initiative – that included a pledge to “groom all-round fintech talent” and to provide greater funding assistance for fintech projects. The initiative will feature the support of 20 financial institutions including HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Hong Kong’s stock exchange. Tech giant Ant Group will also participate in the initiative — the only tech-based company to take part.

“While nurturing local fintech talent has been one of Ant Group’s key missions for years,” Ant Group EVP for strategy development and government affairs Jennifer Tan said, “it’s the group’s honor to join partners from various aspects in cultivating tech talent through the Greater Bay Fintech Talent Initiative.”

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Azerbaijan-based fintech SmilePay announced partnerships with a pair of major food retailers.
  • German neobank Vivid secured an investment license from the Dutch Financial Supervisory Authority AFM.
  • Hungarian National Bank turned to Grape Solutions to provide IT services per a new 60-month framework agreement.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean


Photo by Arnie Chou

Eight Alums Raised More Than $984 Million in Q2 2022

Eight Alums Raised More Than $984 Million in Q2 2022

We may have missed an alum or two. But with the second quarter of 2022 in the books, here’s a look at our Finovate alumni funding for April, May, and June of this year.

As of our current count, eight Finovate alums have raised more than $984 million in Q2 of 2022. Of the eight alums that received funding in the quarter just ended, two – Allied Payment Network and Chekk – did not disclose the total amount of their investments.

Two of the quarter’s biggest investments were received in June, giving that month the lion’s share of capital raised by Finovate alums in the second quarter of the year.

Previous quarterly comparisons

  • Q2 2021: More than $2.8 billion raised by 14 alums
  • Q2 2020: More than $975 million raised by 15 alums
  • Q2 2019: More than $1.8 billion raised by 29 alums
  • Q2 2018: More than $1.5 billion raised by 25 alums
  • Q2 2017: More than $726 million raised by 25 alums

As we noted last year around this time, it is not unusual for second quarters to produce more moderate funding numbers compared to other quarters. And, as with last year, April proved to be an especially “cruel” month for fintech funding – at least as measured by our alums – with only FinovateEurope alum and relative newcomer Crowdz reporting funding that month.

That said, this year’s Q2 haul surpassed that of two of the previous five second quarters – and with significantly fewer alums participating.

Top Equity Investments

  • SumUp: $624 million
  • ThoughtMachine: $160 million
  • Backbase: $122 million

The top equity investment for the quarter was far and away the $624 million raised by London-based e-commerce innovator SumUp. In fact, all three of the top equity investments in Q2 of 2022 were greater than the largest investment in the previous quarter. SumUp’s massive capital infusion rivals all Finovate alum investments since NuBank raised $750 million in the second quarter of 2021.

Backbase’s fundraising of $122 million was notable because it was the first time the company had sought outside capital in its nearly 20 years of existence.

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q2 2022.

April: $10 million raised by one alum

May: More than $178 million raised by three alums

June: More than $796 million raised by four alums

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the second quarter of 2022 and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.

Photo by Pixabay

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: Chekk

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: Chekk

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on November 7 and 8 in Hong Kong. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Chekk is a B2B2C digital identity ecosystem. For consumers, it offers a mobile app to own, manage, and share personal data. For businesses, it provides a web portal and API to request access to data at on-boarding and during periodic refreshes.


  • Is easy, secure, and reusable consumer data wallet
  • Offers a business portal to manage customers, send new data requests, and refreshes
  • Has more coming including OCR, data and document verification, and secure messaging

Why it’s great
It enables the shift of personal data ownership from the businesses to the individuals, to the benefits of both, simplifying KYC cross-businesses, cross-industry (banks, insurers, etc.) and cross-borders.


Benjamin Petit, Hong Kong Country Manager
After having co-founded a boutique M&A in Paris supporting SMEs and start-ups, Petit came to Asia and gained 13 years of experience in large scale, private-public utilities projects.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Trends Rise to the Top at FinovateAsia.
  • TransferWise Raises $280 Million in Series D.

Around the web

  • Bar Harbor Bank & Trust converts to Jack Henry Banking’s SilverLake system.
  • Dime Community Bank ($6.44 billion in assets) to deploy real-time core banking platform and digital banking solutions from Fiserv.
  • iSignthis wraps up $6.5 million private placement.
  • BizEquity bolsters executive team, adding two new VPs in product management and engineering, Amir Tahvildaran and Eric May.
  • Dwolla’s Access API helps mobile debt repayment and savings app Qoins grow margins by 10%.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.