AFRICA – Lagos-based digital security platform, Identitypass has secured US$2.8 million in seed funding to extend its biometric identity verification service across Africa.

The funding round was led by Marc Ventures Capital, and from Y Combinator, Soma Capital, True Capital Fund, and Sherwani Capital LP, among other funds.

The startup will use the funding to increase its current facilities, roll out new verticals around compliance, security, and data collection, expand into new African countries and add to its 14-person team

Identitypass performs fingerprint and faces biometrics matches, ID checks, and identity graphing.

It intends to meet the growing demand for know your customer (KYC) across Africa with the growth in internet access and mobile penetration that is creating more online businesses and also security vulnerabilities.

The company aims to fulfill this expected demand for a quick onboarding process for customers, identity theft protection, and optimizing companies’ compliance rates with anti-money laundering (AML) and KYC regulations.

The startup currently uses OTPs or a four-pin password for basic authentication, but the company wanted to expand its authentication options by launching Identitypass.

By playing a role in cracking down on identity theft with biometrics, the platform will foster business growth in Africa as it enables businesses to develop a more positive reputation.

The company is already serving 200 businesses in Nigeria, the UK, Kenya, the U.S., and India. The company has also joined the Secure Identity Alliance as an associate member to support its OSIA initiative, and recently launched operations in Sierra Leone.

The funding come at a time when mobile penetration in Africa is growing impressively at about 46% as more people come online for the very first time.

As the rate of mobile and internet penetration increases so do the rates of fraud and cybercrime.

According to a report, African businesses lose US$4 billion annually to cybercrime. The global figure for this occurrence stands at US$1 trillion.

Thus, the need for fintech and digital businesses in Africa to perform stringent KYC and verification checks on their customers.

To curb the frauds, Identitypass has approached various agencies and authorities in Nigeria to get licenses and certifications needed for authorizing checks across a full spectrum of verification points.

For its next stage of growth, Identitypass will focus on expanding its existing infrastructure and growing across Africa with new vertical products and services that track how users’ data is being used across the internet.

It also plans to launch products that will help clients identify their customers, work with regulatory agencies for a data security framework across Africa, and form alliances and strategic partnerships with countries across Africa.

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