Nexmo, a company that sells telecom services to developers, announced an early release of its new product ‘Verify’ today, a tool to help apps confirm the phone numbers, and therefore verify the identity of their users. Verify will formally launch in November, but developers can take part in an early-release program if they are in a hurry.
The news comes on the heels of a similar announcement from Twitter of a product called Digits, which also allows apps to verify the phone numbers of their users in quick fashion.
I spoke to Nexmo CEO Tony Jamous about what makes Verify different from Digits — Twitter is, of course, a much larger company than Nexmo. His answer was predicated on his company’s existing work with global carriers. Nexmo’s Verify tool can handle markets that don’t support SMS, and adapts to fit the differing preferences of different locales.
Jamous noted that in Japan, six-digit PINs convert more highly than four digits PINs. In Mexico, he continued, the opposite is true. Nexmo’s value proposition is essentially the leveraging of its past work with global telecom providers and markets to create an intelligent tool that handles optimization for the developer automatically. Nexmo is also bullish on Verify’s white labeling options, which get its own branding out of the way.
According to the company, only 65 percent of global phone verification attempts are successful. That implies that there is ample market space for Nexmo and Twitter to sell into.
It’s ironic that phone numbers are still so important. They are hardly new or cutting edge. However, they are a global standard and a core piece of a user’s personal identification.
Nexmo didn’t specify how much the product will cost, but indicated that its price will land comfortably under the 10-cent mark. Verify will only charge on conversion, lowering cost risk for developers.
The addition of Verify to Nexmo’s list of products comes at an interesting time for the firm. The company raised $18 million in January of this year, valuing the company at more than $100 million. Then the company’s growth hit a summer lull. More recently, it has seen usage of its services rise, spurring its top line once again.
Nexmo still generates the majority if its revenue from its SMS tools, with its more nascent voice features bringing in around 12 to 15 percent of its receipts. However, every company wants to have diversified income sources, meaning that if Verify can find a home inside of the various companies that use other Nexmo services, it could provide an interesting third category of revenue for the company.
The company expects to have revenue of around $70 million this year, a figure that will likely reach the $100 million mark next year, by my own math when taking into account Nexmo’s past growth rates. The company also recently hired an executive chairman to help it suss out potential acquisitions.