AI identity firm raises $30m from backers including Microsoft and Salesforce

Onfido checks your face against international watchlist databases

ID verification company Onfido has raised $30 million in a Series C funding round, with investors including Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Crane Ventures Partners.

Onfido uses machine learning technology to help businesses digitally verify people's identities. It validates a user's identity document, compares it with their facial biometrics and then this can be cross-referenced against international credit and watchlist databases.

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Onfido co-founder and COO Eamon Jubbawy said: "We founded Onfido because we realised that our identities were becoming the key to unlocking access to online services. We've all had to jump through arcane, outdated processes to sign up for basic services like opening a bank account. The consumer hates it and so does the bank - 40% of people who start opening an account online don't finish the process.

The company plans to use the money to expand its international reach by building US and European presences and expand its growth in India and Asia-Pacific. It will also use the money to further R&D into its machine learning technology and expand its product and engineering teams.

"Smartphones are pervasive, powerful tools for accelerating the adoption of identity verification processes," said Itxaso del Palacio, investment partner at Microsoft Ventures.

"Onfido's reliable and scalable intelligent services are helping millions of unbanked people worldwide access financial services by allowing them to open bank accounts, be verified for a job and more with the touch of a button. We're proud to support its efforts with our investment."

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Jubbawy added: "We're also excited to welcome Microsoft Ventures onto the Onfido team. Building a deep tech company is hard - so Microsoft's technical expertise and global reach will be crucial to helping us scale through the next chapter."

Scott Sage, Crane's co-founder and partner, will also be joining Onfido's board.

The company has 150 team members based across three continents and serves around 1,500 businesses globally. It was founded by three entrepreneurs from Oxford University in 2012.

LinkedIn's co-founder, Reid Hoffman, led a $12.4 million funding round into UK startup hub Entrepreneur First earlier this month. He was joined by Lakestar Capital and the founders of Deepmind.

IT Pro also talked to four UK startups at the start of the month to see what they thought about fundraising, technology and Brexit.

Picture - Onfido's founders, Eamon Jubbawy, Husayn Kassai and Ruhul Amin/Credit: Onfido

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