Onfido: a regtech force to be reckoned with

Onfido: a regtech force to be reckoned with

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Posted by Totally Gaming
business scale up
Chris North analyses the latest news from digital identification startup Onfido and looks at how it is going about the business of scaling up

The identity verification startup Onfido is going from strength-to-strength and the recent newsflow suggests a company which is gaining in scale at speed with new hires and significant new business initiatives.

To take the latter first, last week the company announced it had launched the first identity verification tool on the Salesforce platform which will enable clients to digitally verify customers using Onfido and keep an audit trail all within Salesforce.

Onfido’s product is built on machine-learning technology and Salesforce now adds its name to an impressive client list for the London-based company, including Bla Bla Car, JustGiving, Couchsurfing and Tesco.

The news followed on from an announcement in late October regarding significant hires at the company. Data security and privacy experts Andy Wilde and Kevin Trilli took up new roles as chief technology officer and chief product offer respectively while enterprise software specialist Andy Leaver has taken on the position of chef revenue officer.

These new hires followed on from the news of the $30 series C funding round that was completed in late September from investors including Crane Ventures, Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and others.

The company said the hiring spree would enable it to establish its platform further in the US market and drive expansion into India, Latin America and other international markets.

Onfido works with a number of gambling companies on identity verification solutions. Earlier this year, Jamie Miles, head of KYC at Onfido, said that innovation with regard to digital identity was being led by the operators.

“Unlike extremely risk-averse financial services, gambling operators are more prepared to implement new solutions of their own accord if they see a business need. It’s not that there isn’t a ‘push’ for technology in gambling, it’s just that it’s being led on a different front. That said, gambling regulators are proving slower in providing guidance on how to translate regulation from offline to online environments, which is where they’re perhaps behind financial regulators.”

He added that operators have to date been proactive in this area. “It’s a very simple calculation for the people we're speaking to – their primary concerns are ‘will this help me make more money’ and ‘will this save me money’, and if the answer to one or both of those questions is yes, they’ll use us,” he said back in April.

“We tend to find that they’re very driven by the bottom line and have very open doors. Of course, this is as much a blessing as it is a curse, as it means there’s more competition both on our side as software providers and on theirs, as they have to keep up with innovation or risk being left behind.”

Talking about the new hires Husayn Kassai, chief executive and co-founder of Onfido, said the team at Onfido was now stronger than ever. “Being a young company has its advantages, but when scaling globally, experience is invaluable – so bringing seasoned leaders on board was priority. Their guidance will enable us to deliver on our vision to drive trusted interactions worldwide.”

The scaling up process means Onfido is now looking at the top talent from the regtech world. Trilli, for instance, joins from the leading data privacy firm TrustArc where he was senior vice president of product. He has over 20 years of product and entrepreneurial experience in digital data security, privacy and governance including at VeriSign.

The company said he will lead the strategic evolution of the Onfido product platform to a leading provider of identity trust services.

Wilde, meanwhile, has built, managed and led exceptional engineering teams across a range of technologies and markets and is a specialist in consumer mobile and SaaS. He will lead a 50-strong engineering and research team which is working on developing and enhancing Onfido’s machine learning-based identity verification and trust solutions. He was previously a vice president of product development at SwiftKey.

Lastly, Leaver has extensive experience in leading disruptive technology companies, having led international sales teams at Workday, Bazaarvoice, SuccessFactors and Ariba, as well as Hortonworks which is the fastest software company ever to reach $100m in revenue. He has been an advisor to Onfido for the past 18 months, and now joins the team to scale commercial operations through the company’s rapid growth.

“Onfido’s hybrid technological approach offers a strong foundation for building a complete market-leading platform, that reduces identity fraud and builds trust for the next generation of digital businesses,” he said.

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