On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry.
Identity verification provider Onfido raised $50 million in late-stage funding from several high-profile venture capital firms, underscoring the strong demand for cybersecurity products and services, including new ways to conduct background checks.
Softbank Investment and Salesforce Ventures led the round. M12, formerly Microsoft Ventures, FinVC and other firms also participated.
Synthetic identification fraud -- combining several pieces of personal information to create fraudulent accounts -- is the fastest-growing financial crime in the United States, according to a January report from global consultancy McKinsey.
“We’re seeing new data breaches occur every day, resulting in millions of people’s private data ending up on the dark web,” said Onfido CEO Husayn Kassai. “With this new funding, we can protect more businesses, in more countries — and in more ways — from the effects of fraud.”
Onfido is the brainchild of Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin, three Oxford University students who noted that traditional, manual systems of identify verification were inefficient and inaccurate. Onfido’s platform uses selfie photos and artificial intelligence algorithms to verify a person’s identity. The company has offices in the US, Singapore, Portugal, India and the UK, and said that it has over 1,500 customers worldwide.
Onfida’s latest haul brings its total to more than $100 million in venture capital since its founding in 2012. In September 2017 Onfido raised $30 million in series C funding. That followed about 17 months after the company raised $25 million. It raised $4.5 million in its series A round in February 2015.
Onfido said that it would use the funds for product development, “to consolidate” its core U.S. business and to expand in Europe, Asia and other “high-growth regions.”
Softbank Investment has been involved in some of the highest-profile technology funding rounds in recent years, albeit in industries outside cybersecurity. Its portfolio includes WeWork, DoorDash and Uber. Salesforce Ventures is the investment arm for San Francisco-based software provider Salesforce.
James Peter Rubin is a veteran journalist who has written and edited for CapitalWatch, ThirtyK, TheStreet.com, Forbes and the Economist Group, among other media outlets.