Identity Verification Startup Veridu Raises £800,000 Seed

Playing in the identity space, London-based Veridu is attempting to solve a problem as old as the Internet itself but also one that is increasing with the advent of the so-called sharing economy and peer-to-peer marketplaces. That is, how to ensure that an individual online is who they say they are. It does this by offering a service to businesses that enables them to verify identity online using various data points, including a user’s ‘social footprint’.

To aid that mission, Veridu is announcing that it’s closed an £800,000 seed round from various institutional and private investors. These include Force Over Mass Capital, which is a relatively new fund focusing on the U.K. technology sector, Knightsbridge Executive Services, and Belgian Callataÿ & Wouters Ventures. In addition, Phil McGriskin and Paul Townsend, founders of Envoy (sold to WorldPay), also participated.

“We bring trust to the internet,” Veridu co-founder and CEO Rasmus Groth tells TechCrunch. “We help companies across a wide range of industries, from payments providers through to the sharing economy, improve user experience by removing friction in transactions with reliable, off-the-shelf identity, insight and trust solutions based on digital signals. Our customers can benefit from an increase in transactions and a deeper understanding of their users leading to enhanced business growth.”

Describing the startup’s customers as “payments solutions trying to avoid declining good people, and P2P services wanting to increase trust and keep their users safe,” Groth cites competitors as Socure, and Trustev. (Though I’d add Mii Card, which uses your online bank account as it main identity point, and Seedcamp/500 Startups alumni Traity, to the mix).

“We are building an Identity operating system with focus on complete transparency,” he adds. “We are on the users side providing valuable service to merchants, not another way to violate peoples privacy. We intend to see the vision of providing a bottom up based global id through and we can only do that if we remain faithful to the user.”

Meanwhile, the new capital will be used by Veridu to further scale its business — including hiring data scientists and statisticians — and provide a bridge to a planned Series A round. It generates revenue via tiered subscriptions or by charging per attribute verified e.g. age.