Identity verification provider Veriff raises $100M Series C co-led by Tiger Global and Alkeon

Identity verification (IDV) provider Veriff, has raised a $100 million Series C round co-led by Tiger Global and Alkeon. They were joined by existing investors IVP and Accel, bringing Veriff’s total funding to date to $200 million. The new funding means the company is now valued at $1.5 billion. The new financing will be used for growing the workforce, R&D, sales and marketing.

The Estonia-based startup’s “special sauce” is using AI-powered video to verify identifies. To date, the biggest startups in the space include OnFido and Jumio, but so far these rely on still photographs rather than video.

Veriff claims its video approach makes online IDV “more accurate” than physical face-to-face authentication and prevents fraud more often.

It also claims that last year it grew verification volumes by more than 8x, and by 20x in the U.S., with its financial services operation growing by 10x, while customer growth had grown by 150%.

Kaarel Kotkas, CEO and founder of Veriff, said: “Organizations and consumers needed to verify identities online more than ever before in 2021 — from onboarding remote employees, to creating a safe space for gaming in the metaverse, and conducting business fully online — which makes the establishment of digital trust and transparency incredibly critical.”

John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global said: “A reliable IDV solution for today’s digital businesses and consumers has been exacerbated over the past two years as all operations moved online to conduct business. Veriff has created an industry-leading product to ensure trust and safety online. Based on our research and customer calls, Veriff’s product performance leaves others far behind and should be used more widely by companies out there.”

Speaking to Kotkas, I asked what else is going on that helps increase the accuracy of Veriff’s platform. He told me: “We factor in user behavior. Instead of basing an IDV decision on three pictures alone, we are analyzing over 1,000 other data points. So this gives us an automation advantage and very accurate decisions on ID.”

He also said he thinks the future of IDV is being driven by the fact that it’s not just essential for financial services companies, but that it’s also now requisite for just about every service online. Because of the pandemic, there are now remote examinations at universities which require IDV, for instance.

“There are 5 billion people online today and when they all start to verify their identity, there is going to be 50 billion verifications happening on an annual basis. We are moving towards a world where we need to make trust reliable and scalable online,” he said.