As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the world, more and more companies are facing supply chain disruptions, a plunge in customer demand, and much more. The major concern is that there is no clarity of how long the global crisis will last and there’s no cure for it as well. One thing that the global pandemic has resulted in is a digital push.
Do follow our special coverage on coronavirus over here.
Digital identity space on fire
The COVID-19 pandemic has already digitalised many things and the digital ID one such aspect. With millions of people across the world working from home, work is done remotely, conferences are taking place virtually, and people are signing documents electronically. And, digital identity is essential for all these as it is a way of authenticating that it is you.
Well, businesses are adopting touchless verification services that will contain the virus and urged to adhere to the KYC and AML regulations. Notably, KYC is the ideal way to tackle fraudsters in the current world scenario. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, digital verification solutions that authenticate an identity sans any direct contact with the person are vital as these halt the spread of the virus.
There are global digital ID solutions that can be used to track the COVID-19 spread, monitor travel, and restrict the movement of infected people. However, such solutions have a lot of limitations as these will reveal a lot of control and information about citizens, which is a bad idea. Notably, there is a possibility to collect information and store the same in a privacy-preserving way.
European tech startups that received funding
Having detailed the role of digital identity and verification during the coronavirus outbreak, here is a list of digital identity startups in Europe that received funding recently.
Founder/s: Hermann Svoren, Lasse Andresen
Founded year: 2010
Funding: €127 million
Norwegian digital identity startup ForgeRock is an AI-driven platform empowering organisations to create amazing digital experiences for both consumer and workforce segments. It is providing services such as identity management including username and password creation, directory services, identity governance, privacy and consent gates.
A few days back, ForgeRock secured $ 93.5 million (nearly €86.3 million) Series E funding to continue expanding its product and take it to the next level as a business investing in R&D, cloud services, its Identity Cloud and general global business development. This funding round is led by Accenture Ventures, Riverwood Capital and previous investors such as Meritech Capital, Accel, Foundation Capital and KKR Growth.
Founder/s: Eamon Jubbawy, Husayn Kassai, Ruhul Amin
Founded year: 2012
Funding: €192 million
London-based global identity verification and re-authentication service provider Onfido helps businesses identify their users using facial biometrics and Government IDs by developing AI to make sure their IDs are genuine and match the users presenting the same. Recently, Onfido secured $ 100 million (approx €92 million) funding led by global investment firm TPG Growth. Onfido will use this investment to accelerate its machine learning tech and expand into high-growth regions in Europe and South-East Asia. It also plans to continue its growth across North America by teaming up with Okta and ForgeRock.
Founder/s: Yeelen Knegtering, Bart-Jan Maatman, Robert-Jan Verheggen, Jeroen Bobbeldijk
Founded year: 2014
Funding: €1.4 million
Dutch digital receipt scaleup Klippa works with the intention to digitise and automate cumbersome document processing with technologies such as OCR and machine learning. It specialises in apps and software that improve administrative processes, expense processing, scanning receipts and invoices, data extraction and identity validation solutions.
Recently, Klippa secured €1.2 million funding from Bizcuit Group. With its tools, employees can complete their administrative tasks anywhere and anytime and let businesses work safely from home. Also, it will help them speed up administrative processes by 70%.
Founder/s: Duncan Francis, Noel Hayden, Robin Tombs
Founded year: 2014
Funding: €18.3 million
London-based identity verification startup Yoti offers a digital identity platform and app. It lets people prove their age and purchase age-restricted goods. Also, they can sign documents online with verified digital identities and login securely to websites without the necessity to remember passwords all the time. Yoti secured £8 million (nearly €8.7 million) from its co-founder Robin Tombs, employees and existing private investors. It will be used to fuel the investment in product development, growth of its consumer network and expand its operations globally.
If you come across any other digital identity startup from Europe that has received funding of late, then do keep us posted on email@example.com.
Main image picture credits: Klippa
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We weren’t alone in being impressed by Motiv. The startup helped flip the script on wearables by essentially cramming a fitness tracker’s worth of technology into a ring. This week, San Francisco ‘digital identity’ startup Proxy that it’s acquiring the company.
The company’s site is littered in buzzwords, but Proxy specializes in digital key cards — essentially providing a way to use digital devices like smartphones to access businesses and homes. An odd fit for a company that makes exercise rings, until you look at what Motiv’s been up to in recent years.
Among the additions to the tiny hardware platform are NFC payments, lost phone tracking and two-factor device authentication through gait monitoring. Whether or not Proxy ultimately has interesting in manufacturing and selling a fitness ring, there’s plenty of underlying technology here that would be of interesting to a digital identity company.
“The demand for our technology is only going to increase and we saw a clear path forward in the importance of validating one’s identity in both the physical and digital worlds,” Motiv said in a blog post. “Keys, access cards and passwords are rapidly being replaced with a biometric identity which provides greatly improved security and convenience.”
While the app will continue to be available for download (no word on how long it will continue to offer support), the deal mark the end of Motiv’s online sales, while partner retailers will burn through the rest of their stock.
Proxy, on the other hand, says it’s committed to the ring as the future of the wearables category. “With this acquisition, Proxy plans to bring digital identity signals to smart rings for the first time and revolutionize the way people use technology to interact with the world around them,” the company writes. “We believe it’s possible to ignite a paradigm shift in how people use wearables to interface with the physical world, so they can do and experience things they never have before.”
While compelling, the fitness ring hasn’t exactly taken the wearable category by storm in the past three years, as the space continues to be almost exclusively dominated by smartwatches and headphones. For those who still believe in the form factor, Motiv has had some competition recently, from companies like Oura, a ring largely built around sleep tracking.