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Onfido Raises $100 Million Because “Identity is Broken”

Digital identity verification platform Onfido reeled 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.