Veriff

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Veriff
Private
IndustryOnline verification service
Founded2015; 7 years ago (2015)
Founder
  • Kaarel Kotkas
  • Janer Gorohhov
HeadquartersTallinn, Estonia,
Estonia
Area served
Global
Key people
  • Kaarel Kotkas (CEO)
  • Janer Gorohhov (COO)
ServicesIdentity verification service
Number of employees
300 (2019)
Websiteveriff.com

Veriff is a global identity verification service company founded and headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The company offers services for online businesses to mitigate fraud attempts and assisting regulatory compliance.[1] Offering protection from identity fraud and identity theft, Veriff verifies a customer's identity automatically, using an AI that analyzes a multitude of technological and behavioural indicators, including facial recognition.[2] The service is provided to companies as an API, which has been compared to Stripe.[3]

History

Veriff was created by Kaarel Kotkas who, although living on the second largest island of Estonia, had experienced difficulties while having to travel to the mainland for any identification-based transactions. After a short spell of working on the verification operations in Transferwise, Kotkas founded Veriff in 2015 as a startup that would combine different methods of distanced verification to provide a more reliable online service.[4]

In Estonia, the service launched in June 2016 and by September 2016, the company employed 12 people. For a year, Veriff worked with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Interior, the Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate, and Estonian e-residency program, to create procedures for using the national registries that would preserve the integrity of personal data. Among its first clients was Estonia's largest online retailer Hansapost.[5]

The company started by offering verification services to the banking sector. After the initial investor, Estonian bank Inbank (formerly Cofi) from 2016,[5] another Estonian bank LHV started offering bank account opening via video link only, without any physical visits, in 2017. Financial regulations in Estonia didn't allow opening accounts for enterprises or making transfers over 10,000 euros without physical identification. The possibility of distanced identification for banks became legally available in Estonia in June 2016.[1]

Nordic Business Report named Veriff's founder Kaarel Kotkas as one of the 25 most influential young entrepreneurs in Europe in spring 2018.[6] In the same time, Veriff graduated from American seed accelerator Y-Combinator.[7] At the end of 2018, Estonian venture capitalists named Veriff the startup of the year.[8][9]

In January 2019, Veriff acquired Estonian network intelligence company BrowserID. BrowserID was working on the collection and analysis of device-based data for fraud monitoring purposes. Primarily interested in Browser ID’s device-based data capabilities, the acquisition expanded Veriff’s fraud prevention benchmark beyond facial recognition and document verification.[10]

In June 2019, Veriff signed an agreement with Berlin's public transportation company Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BGV). BVG uses Veriff's service to identify the users of its mobility app Jelbi, covering Berlin's entire public transportation system from scooters and bikes to car-sharing and traditional taxis.[11]

Veriff's agreement with Blockchain.com was announced in August 2019. Blockhain had started testing the verification service at the beginning of the year.[12]. Formerly focusing on big companies, Veriff came out with subscription-based services for small and medium businesses in September 2019.[13] By March 2020, Veriff was also working with companies like Mintos, Turo, Grow Mobility and Transferwise.[14]

In November 2019, Veriff opened its first foreign office in New York City. By that time, Veriff employed over 300 people in it's Tallinn office and had raised 7.35 million euros in investments.[15]

In March 2020, Kotkas was chosen the EY Estonian entrepreneur of the year.[16] In the same month, the company stated that despite Brexit it was establishing customer-facing teams and account management in London.[14] In the beginning of May, though, Veriff announced it would lay off 63 employees because the COVID-19 pandemic had increased the business volume in Europe and the U.S. where the company offered fully automatic services, while diminishing the need for online verification in countries where more human oversight had been necessary. [17]

Verification process

The system cross-refers images of the customer taken by a local device with the identity information held in government databases[5] comparing ratios between points on a person's face.[18] Veriff next combines the results of face comparison and document validation with video analysis, device and network fingerprinting, and registry checks, providing real-time results.[12] The combination of checks depends on the particular service's needs and risk appetite, as well as local laws and regulations - e.g., Estonia's regulations require a video interview with anyone wanting to open a bank account.[2] In addition to analyzing the data acquired within a particular video session to ensure that the session is voluntary and not pre-recorded, Veriff crosslinks the data with other sessions to detect systematic fraud,[13] complemented by PEP and sanctions checks.[19]

If necessary, a manual verification by humans can be added to the automatic service.[5] Different methods are used for different risk profiles while protecting personal and sensitive data.[2] Verification flows are offered across platforms, having software development kits (SDKs) on the web as well as for Android and iOS.[20]

In October 2019, Veriff released a near-field communication (NFC) verification tool to validate biometric documents. If a device has an integrated reader, the cross-platform tool reads data directly from the chip, detecting fraud attempts.[21]

In March 2020, Veriff launched a new Assisted Image Capture (AIC) service as a separate solution. AIC gives customers real-time feedback to avoid the most common mistakes during the identification process, like blurriness, glare, facial occlusion or damaged ID documents.[22]

Investors

Veriff's initial investor was Estonian bank Inbank (formerly Cofi) in 2016 via its subsidiaries Inbank Technologies and investment company Mobi Solutions, headed by IT visionary Linnar Viik.[5]

Veriff raised a 7.7 mln USD Series A round in 2018, the leading investor being Mosaic Ventures[23]. In the same year, Veriff Inc., registered in the U.S., became the sole proprietor of the Estonian company Veriff OÜ. In Estonian state registry, the transfer was formalized on October 22, 2019.[24] By the end of 2019, Veriff had raised investments in the range of 8.3 mln USD (7,35 mln euros).[16]

In the media

                                

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Pau, Aivar (2017-06-05). "Tehtud! Eestis saab tänasest pangakontot avada veebikaamera teel". Postimees (in Estonian). Retrieved 2020-04-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kald, Indrek (2020-02-27). "Veriff arendas kliendi poolt seadistatava isikutuvastuse". ITuudised.ee (in Estonian). Retrieved 2020-05-19.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  3. O'Hear, Steve (2018-06-19). "Veriff raises $7.7M Series A to become the 'Stripe for identity'". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  4. Amor, Liis (2018-08-10). "Sinine heinapallinöör viis miljoneid väärt idufirmani". Äripäev. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Kanarbik, Liina (2016-06-20). "Uus Eesti idufirma lihtsustab oluliselt finantstehingute tegemist". Postimees (in Estonian). Retrieved 2020-04-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  6. ". 19. Kaarel Kotkas". 25 and Under in Northern Europe. Nordic Business Report. 2018. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  7. Laks, Liina (2018-06-09). "USA investorid jooksid Eesti firmale tormi". Äripäev. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  8. "Eesti riskikapitalistid valisid aasta idufirma". ITuudised.ee (in Estonian). 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2020-04-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  9. Tambur, Silver (2019-01-08). "Veriff voted the Estonian startup of the year". Estonian World. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  10. Degeler, Andrii (2019-01-23). "Estonian online authentication startup Veriff acquires BrowserID". Tech.eu. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  11. "Veriff sisenes Berliini transpordimaailma". Äripäev. 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Veriff lõi käed maailma juhtiva krüptoettevõttega". Ärileht (in Estonian). 2019-08-22. Retrieved 2020-04-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Aasmäe, Kalev (2019-09-20). "Blockchain ID checks: How this startup is now verifying identities online". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Smith, Nick (2020-03-20). "'Despite Brexit, London will remain the fintech capital of the world': Kaarel Kotkas". E&T: Engineering and Technology. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  15. "Eesti idufirma värbas maailmatasemel tippjuhi ja avab kontori New Yorgis". Ärileht (in Estonian). 2019-11-13. Retrieved 2020-04-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Eesti aasta ettevõtja on Kaarel Kotkas". Postimees (in Estonian). 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2020-04-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  17. Ruuda, Lennart (2020-05-05). "Aasta ettevõtja koondab üle 60 inimese". Postimees (in Estonian). Retrieved 2020-05-09.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  18. Liive, Ronald (2016-06-28). "Eestlaste idufirma Veriff lubab maailma kõige turvalisemat isikutuvastamise teenust". Digigeenius. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  19. "Solving the Global Identity Verification Problems". Nanalyze. 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  20. Burt, Chris (2019-11-06). "Selfie biometrics extended by Veriff, GetID, VaultID as Facebook intros video face and motion detection". Biometric Update. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  21. "Veriff launches NFC verification tool for biometric documents". HelpNet Security. 2019-10-04. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  22. Burt, Chris (2017-05-23). "TruNarrative, Veriff, Onfido and iDenfy upgrade digital identity verification technologies". Biometric Update. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  23. "Eesti idufirma Veriff kaasas 7,7 miljonit dollarit". ERR. 2018-06-19. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  24. "Veriff OÜ omanike seas toimus muutus". Ärileht (in Estonian). 2019-11-08. Retrieved 2020-04-27.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)

External links

This article "Veriff" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.