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Identity verification and authentication provider Onfido has provided a guiding light when it comes to digital identity in 2020 and the company’s Q3 sales results can back it up.
Onfido’s global sales increased 82% over the course of the third quarter. The company also doubled the number of sales from its 103 new clients. Overall, Onfido saw a 237% increase in U.S. sales during the third quarter and attributes the growth to new customers switching from other providers.
Aiding Onfido’s success is its decision to partner with Identity Access Management (IAM) companies to spur demand for enterprise-level customers. Some of the company’s marketing plays in this area include hosting an e-voting roundtable with Okta, integrating into Auth0’s Marketplace, and listing on the Salesforce AppExchange.
Additional key partnerships for Onfido this year include:
Alior Bank partnered with Onfido to power digital onboarding.
Hub City Media partnered with Onfido to resell and distribute Onfido’s identity verification and authentication services.
Deliveroo expanded its partnership with Onfido to accelerate its onboarding process for drivers.
Curve partnered with Onfido to enhance its Digital Identity and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.
SwissBorg partnered with Onfido to provide a compliant customer onboarding experience.
Delfin Health partnered with Onfido on its app that predicts, monitors, and tests the health and safety of workforces.
MyCash partnered with Onfido to power digital onboarding.
Bondora partnered with Onfido to streamline its onboarding and KYC processes.
Voima Gold partnered with Onfido to allow customers to securely buy, sell, and store physical gold.
EstateGuru partnered with Onfido to automate KYC and AML compliance processes.
Onfido leverages the power of machine learning and AI to help companies cross-verify users’ identity documents with a live biometric of their face. The company can verify more than 4,600 document types from 195 countries.
“Our mission is to create a more open world, where identity is the key to access. This starts with widening access, creating opportunities for everyone to connect with the services they need and making sure that it’s as inclusive as it can be,” said Husayn Kassai, CEO and Co-founder of Onfido. “We made significant strides over the last quarter to make our product offering not only more conducive to enterprise-level organizations, but also fairer when it comes to verifying people from different ethnicities. We believe these changes will only accelerate our growth further.”
Onfido most recently showcased its technology at FinovateFall 2018, where it debutedFacial Check with Video. The tool, available via an SDK, prompts users to film themselves repeating numbers and performing randomized movements to ensure liveness and enhance identity verification.
What’s to like about FinovateFall Digital, our all-digital fintech conference starting Monday, September 14th and continuing through Friday, the 18th? A CEO from one of our demoing companies pointed out that one of the special things about this fall’s conference is that because the FinovateFall is all-digital, it enables people all over the world to participate as virtual attendees.
With this in mind, we wanted to use this week’s Finovate Global to highlight those companies from outside the United States that will be demonstrating their latest fintech innovations as part of our annual autumn event. Here’s hoping they bring a few friends from across the border – or from over the sea – to digitally join us!
Cinchy – Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Provides a real-time data collaboration platform to solve data integration, access, governance, and solution-delivery challenges. Finovate Best of Show Winner. Founded in 2014.
DQ Labs – Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Offers a unified suite of modules that enables companies to unlock the value in their data to gain new insights. Founded in 2019.
Horizn – Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Helps banks and financial institutions dramatically increase digital adoption. Finovate Best of Show winner. Founded in 2012.
Mostly AI– Vienna, Wien, Austria. Enables companies to unlock privacy-sensitive data assets while protecting privacy. Founded in 2017.
Payever – Hamburg, Germany. Offers a Commerce Operating System to help entrepreneurs start, run, and grow their businesses. Founded in 2013.
ScientiaConsulting – London, U.K. Leading fintech consulting and development firm in Europe. Founded in 2010.
Back in January Finovate Global took a look at the growing case for national digital currencies. We highlighted initiatives in countries as different as India and Japan, and underscored observations from Christine Lagarde (former head of the IMF and current president of the European Central Bank) in her address, “The Case for New Digital Currency”.
Now Ms. Lagarde is back in the news hinting at a near-term resolution to the question of a digital euro. In a speech this week at the Bundesbank’s conference on digital banking and payments, Lagarde argued that Europe must be wary of falling behind when it comes to the development of digital payment options, and that consideration of a national digital currency needs to be a part of that conversation.
“The Eurosystem has so far not made a decision on whether to introduce a digital euro,” Lagarde said. “But, like many other central banks around the world, we are exploring the benefits, risks, and operation challenges of doing so.” Lagarde added a taskforce on development of a digital euro is expected to release its findings “in the coming weeks.”
Open Banking All Over the World
We recently investigated the prospects for open banking in Australia. This week we share an overview of the state of open banking in Switzerland courtesy of Fintech Zoom’s Jung Min-Seo.
“Europe may moderately declare to be the cradle of open banking,” Min-Seo wrote, “however in contrast to within the E.U. the place members are obliged to implement PSD2, a directive meant to opening up cost transactions to non-banks and promote competitors, Switzerland has no such regulation in place.”
This week for Finovate Global, we caught up with Mohammed Aziz, co-founder and CEO of Dapi, a fintech startup that offers a suite of open banking APIs to help connect customer bank accounts, initiate payments, and access data in real-time. Founded in 2019, the company currently operate in six countries in the Middle East and Africa, and is headquartered in both San Francisco, California, and the UAE.
We talked about the opportunity for open banking to fuel innovation in financial services in emerging economies, as well as the overall environment for fintech innovation in the MENA region. We also discussed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on pre-existing trends such as digitization.
Finovate: Dapi is the third company you’ve founded, but your first fintech. What made you want to focus on the opportunities in this industry? What do you bring to fintech from your experience in other areas?
Mohammed Aziz: Dapi was the result of a problem that I personally faced when trying to build “Spendy” a hybrid between a peer to peer payment application and a personal financial management app. We were unable to build out Spendy for most emerging markets due to the lack of bank connectivity which got us super keen to build out the underlying infrastructure that would power the future of fintech in these markets.
Finovate: Tell us about Dapi. What problem does your company solve and who are your primary customers?
Aziz: Dapi’s mission is to provide the building blocks for a thriving fintech ecosystem in emerging markets around the world. Our API serves as the bridge between financial applications and banks, empowering developers to create digital wallets, budget trackers, investment applications and more. Our clients are developers working on fintech applications, businesses hoping to include financial services in their mobile and web offerings, and anyone that wants to include bank functionality within their digital offerings.
Finovate: Your business strategy relies on an embrace of open banking in the MENA region. How strong is the movement toward open banking there?
Aziz: The MENA region is a very exciting space to be operating in right now. Fintech is only beginning to develop here and the market is pretty much untapped, so we are hoping to serve as an influence towards the region embracing open banking and all the opportunities that come with that. I would also like to point out that we are able to activate and build connectivity regardless of open banking being present or not. We like to take the approach that companies like Plaid in the US or Truelayer in the UK did, whereby they were connected to banks despite frameworks and regulation being in place.
Finovate: Aside from open banking, what are some of the other exciting trends in the fintech industry in the Middle East/Abu Dhabi right now?
Aziz: There’s a general trend of growing interest for the kinds of applications that financial technology empowers, from digital wallets and peer to peer applications to investment platforms and digital banks. The market is new and rapidly evolving.
Finovate: We talk about the Middle East and North Africa as a region. But there is a great deal of variation among countries in MENA. How does this impact your ability to market your technology in the area?
Aziz: Beyond market considerations, the regulation surrounding the use of APIs in financial applications varies greatly from country to country. This is a new and mostly unregulated space, but we have had to consider completely separate approaches to integrating our services in the UAE as opposed to KSA, for example. Culture is also another important factor, as it varies between countries and impacts the products that you would want to launch along with the go-to-market approach.
Finovate: How has COVID-19 impacted the fintech industry in the region? Early in the crisis, we heard news from countries like Iran, but not as much since. How are businesses, especially fintech businesses, faring?
Aziz: The COVID-19 pandemic and its push towards social distancing and remote work has actually increased interest in digitization of financial services. For example, there have been a number of announcements within the UAE that the country will be moving towards enabling more online payments and other financial services without the need to physically go to a bank.
Finovate: You participated in the Y Combinator program. What was that experience like? What advice do you have for startups with the opportunity to pursue a similar path with a top-notch accelerator?
Aziz: Y Combinator has been a phenomenal experience for us. It really put us out there on the map and helped expand our network in silicon valley. From our experience, investors and VCs in the US are not usually convinced about investing in early stage MENA startups, but YC really helps establish that credibility.
Finovate: Tell us about your experience of setting up your business in Abu Dhabi.
Aziz: Abu Dhabi is an exciting place to work, since it is a rapidly growing and developing market, as mentioned above. Furthermore, we have received a lot of support from our involvement in ADGM and Hub71, which provided resources for us to establish and grow our operations in these beginning stages.
Finovate: What can we expect from Dapi over the balance of 2020 and beyond?
Aziz: We are very excited to continue growing and expanding into a variety of developing markets, beyond the UAE. At the same time, we have a number of exciting partnerships in our sights for the UAE, which we hope will bring our vision of a strong fintech ecosystem in the MENA region closer to reality.
Here is our look at fintech around the world.
Singapore-based MatchMove launches cross-border remittance platform for businesses.
Clik, a payment aggregator and merchant acquirer based in Cambodia, raises $3.7 million in seed funding.
Leading Asian financial services platform GoBear teams up with UnionBank to launch lending-as-a-service solution in the Philippines; announces new Chief Financial Officer.
Fiservinks partnership with Absa Regional Operations (ARO) to enhance credit card management and processing in nine African countries.
Ecobank Group unveils the finalists for its fintech challenge, now in its third year. Ten African startups from seven different countries made the cut out of an applicant pool of more than 600.
Salaam Gateway looks at the development of Islamic fintech in Kenya.
Central and Eastern Europe
Onfido to streamline digital identity verification for Poland’s Alior Bank.
Russia’s Tinkoff Banklaunches new charitable program, Cashback to Give Back.
Austrian regtech kompany lands $7.14 million in funding.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Salt Edgepartners with Jordan Ahli Bank Cyprus, making it one of the first banking groups in Cyprus to achieve PSD2 compliance.
Israeli fintech Approve.com raises $5 million in seed funding for its technology that automates the procurement process.
Infosys Finacle to deploy its Liquidity Management platform with National Bank of Bahrain.
Central and Southern Asia
Uzbekistan’s People’s Bank partners with Finastra to automate its risk management business.
TerraPay collaborates with Bank Alfalah to enable instant money transfers to Pakistan.
Indian B2B fintech Signzy announces plans to hire “close to 70” employees over the next six moths in response to increased demand.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Feedzaiexpands partnership with PayU, enabling the company to enhance its fraud prevention capabilities in Latin America and the EMEA region.
TechCrunch profiles Mozper, a digital banking service based in Latin America that caters to parents and Gen Z kids.
MercadoLibre announces plans to launch branded credit cards in Brazil and Chile “in the near future.”
Mambu, the cloud-based banking platform based in Germany, is partnering with U.K. business banking platform Tide to power the company’s revolving credit facilities and overdrafts for small businesses.
“There is a need to be flexible, agile, and customer-centric in the design of financial products,” Managing Director of Mambu EMEA Eelco-Jan Boonstra explained. “Legacy technology constraints can undermine even the best innovation strategy.”
The collaboration will enable Tide to overhaul its product suite in order to better serve customers in a number of locations around the world. This includes offering larger overdrafts, credit cards, and invoice financing, as well as enabling Tide members to lend to each other leveraging solutions managed by Mambu.
“When today’s customers evaluate financial institutions, they no longer compare different banks, they compare experiences,” Boonstra said. “We see this partnership approach as the future of banking technology.”
Regtech is all the rage in fintech these days. From helping businesses negotiate a wave of new regulation – from GDPR to PSD2 – to empowering firms to combat fraud, companies involved in developing technologies to ensure that businesses are getting and staying compliant are enjoying rare attention from the rest of the industry.
A recent review of top regtech startups in Europe in Fintech News was an example of the light increasingly shining on these companies and their vital role in supporting a fintech industry that a growing number of financial services customers – and other businesses – are relying on.
The review cited research from KPMG that anticipates regtech spending in 2022 climbing to $76 billion. Analysis from XAnge, a European VC firm, finds approximately 140 regtech startups in the E.U., divided fairly equally between compliance management, KYC/AML, and risk management solutions.
We were especially please to see that, of the ten regtech startups highlighted in the feature, four of the companies are Finovate alums. Apiax and NetGuardians, which most recently demoed at FinovateEurope and at FinovateAsia respectively, both hail from Switzerland. Apiax, recently profiled here on the Finovate blog, offers a comprehensive compliance solution that leverages APIs to integrate its compliance rules into digital processes. NetGuardians focuses on Big Data and uses it to help banks fight fraud and automate compliance.
Also earning recognition on the top European regtech list was Ireland’s Fenergo. The company, founded in 2009 and having made its Finovate debut back in 2012, specializes in client onboarding and account opening solutions for banks and financial services companies. Just this week, Fenergo announced that it was launching a new remote account opening solution in both the EMEA and APAC regions.
Half of the companies on Fintech News’ regtech roster are from the U.K. The Finovate alum among this group, Onfido, leverages automated machine learning, optical character recognition (OCR), and other technologies to provide identity verification to combat fraud. Demoing its technology at both FinovateEurope and FinovateFall in 2018, the company earlier this month announced a major $100 million fundraising that brought the company’s total capital to more than $182 million.
“We’ve naturally chosen the grow-fast path because we strongly feel that the time to solve the digital access problem is overdue, and urgently needs to be solved, for good,” Onfido CEO and co-founder Husayn Kassai said. “We didn’t fundraise to just get to the next milestone, we need the funding as we’re changing the world.”
Tencent’s move comes shortly after its rival Ant Financial took a minority stake in Afterpay competitor Klarna. Afterpay has 3x the web traffic of Klarna and 1.5x the traffic of its other major competitor Affirm.
The buy-now-pay-later segment of fintech has been heating up this year, despite– or perhaps because of– the current economic and health crises.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
V Capital, and advisory firm based in Malaysia, and U.S.-based Cross River Bank partner to apply for a digital banking license in the country.
Hong Kong-based Oriente, a fintech that provides digital infrastructure for financial services, secures $50 million in its still-open Series B round.
South Korean cryptocurrency startup Childly teams up with blockchain analysis company Chainalysis.
Nigerian fintech startup Okra, which facilitates the exchange of real-time financial between banks, customers, and apps, locks in $1 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by TLcom Capital.
Flutterwave, based in San Francisco, California and Lagos, Nigeria, introduces new portal for African e-commerce merchants.
Visa and Kenya’s Pesapal team up to support connected digital payments.
Central and Eastern Europe
Resistant AI, a cybersecurity startup based in the Czech Republic, raises $2.75 million in funding.
Azer Turk Bank (ATB), based in Azerbaijan, deploys technology from Lithuania’s Ashburn to manage EFTPOS networks.
Germany’s Celonis leverages its process mining platform to develop new AI-powered accounts payable solution.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Egypt’s Commercial International Bank acquires 51% stake in Kenya’s Mayfair Bank.
BenefitPay, Bahrain’s national electronic wallet, announces 1257% increase in remittance volume in March.
Tata Consultancy Services to launch a digital only bank in Israel.
Central and Southern Asia
Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX announces trading availability of two native tokens from Crypto.com, MCO and CRO, on its platform.
Amazon launches new credit service, AmazonPay Later, in India.
India-based ecommerce firm Paytm unveils contactless dining solution for restaurants in the coronavirus era.
Latin America and the Caribbean
paysafecard brings its payments platform, Paysafe, to Paraguay.
Latin Post looks at the use of fintech apps in Mexico.
Digital identity verification platform Onfidoreeled in $100 million in a round led by TPG Growth this week. Salesforce Ventures, Microsoft’s M12 Capital, and others also participated. The London-based company’s total investment now sits at just over $182 million.
The company, which counts TechStars, YCombinator, and 500 Startups among its previous investors, will use the funding toward R&D and global expansion. Specifically, Onfido plans to boost its operations in the North American market.
Onfido started off in 2012 with $20,000 in funding from Oxford University and made those funds last for a whole year. After that, the company said it could go one of two routes: it could grow quickly and rely on investment to sustain operations or it could opt for slower growth but be financially self-sufficient.
“We’ve naturally chosen the grow-fast path because we strongly feel that the time to solve the digital access problem is overdue, and urgently needs to be solved, for good,” said CEO and Co-founder Husayn Kassai.
From the outset, Kassai and fellow co-founders Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin focused on creating a new standard for digital access that looks beyond credit bureaus for a more inclusive approach that stops fraud without compromising the user experience. “Identity is broken and getting worse, contributing to $2 trillion in laundered money,” said Kassai.
To help overcome this, Onfido tapped the power of machine learning to assess 4,500 types of documents from 195 countries for authenticity, as well as match document photos to the user’s selfie. The technology, which the company showcased at FinovateFall 2018, can be used for user onboarding, identity verification, fraud detection, age verification, and to help meet AML and KYC requirements.
“We didn’t fundraise to just get to the next milestone, we need the funding as we’re changing the world,” added Kassai.
With more than 350 employees across nine offices in London, San Francisco, New York, Albuquerque, Lisbon, Berlin, Paris, New Delhi, and Singapore, Onfido helps more than 1,500 companies verify their users. Among the company’s clients are Revolut, Zipcar, Expensify, and Bitstamp.
Market data distribution and management solutions provide Xignite has scored a patent for the technology behind its CloudAlerts REST API. The patent recognizes the company’s innovation in developing real-time alerts based on pre-defined stock market conditions. This technology can be added to website or mobile apps by developers to provide users with real-time, automatic notifications on everything from price breakouts to volume surges via SMS, email or onscreen.
What’s unique about Xignite’s approach is the way it is able to deliver market data-driven user alerts at scale, incorporating both the wide variety of user preferences as well as processing a sizable volume of exception conditions in real-time. Fellow Finovate alum SoFi leverages Xignite CloudAlerts in its SoFi Invest service, using the technology to warn investors when a portfolio holding drops below critical levels.
“SoFi saw record investing activity last week during the coronavirus outbreak and that really tested our alerts system,” SoFi Trading and Investment Manager Samuel Nofzinger said. “Our customers value the alerts because they help them invest and protect their money better, especially in today’s volatile market.”
Congratulations to eXate Technologies. The U.K.-based cybersecurity firm – and FinovateEurope 2018 alum – earned a spot in Tech Nation’s Cyber 2.0 growth program. This year’s class marks the second cohort for the program, which is geared toward early-stage cybersecurity startups. Companies participating in the six-month accelerator get peer-to-peer learning with program mentors, masterclasses led by expert scale coaches, as well as meetups and networking with peers, investors, and potential clients.
Add Onfido to the list of Finovate alums that are pitching in to help organizations manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The company announced late last week that it is offering six free months’ use of its biometric identity solution to nonprofit organizations that are fighting the coronavirus. Nonprofits in healthcare, home care, and education are among those to benefit from the program, including a company that uses Onfido’s technology to verify completion of COVID-19 testing.
The Finovate Podcast is on fire! If you’ve not been able to keep up, here are links to the latest conversations with host Greg Palmer.