Smile Identity Raises $ 7 Million to Create Identity Verification and KYC Tools in Africa

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Smile Identity Raises _ 7 Million to Create Identity Verification and KYC Tools in Africa

Smile Identity , the company that enables identity verification and KYC compliance through artificial intelligence designed for African faces and identities, today announced that it has obtained $ 7 million Series A funding.

The investment was jointly led by  Costanoa Ventures  and pan-African venture capital firm  CRE Venture Capital , with participation from  LocalGlobe ,  Intercept Ventures ,  Future Africa Ventures , and angel investors from Africa and around the world. Existing investors including Khosla Impact ,  ValueStream Ventures ,  Beta Ventures ,  500 Startups , and  Story Ventures  also participated.

This fundraiser, which is the largest investment in an identity verification company dedicated to Africans, brings the total funding of Smile Identity to more than $ 11 million. The company plans to use this new funding to improve its services, expand into other markets, add support for more types of identification, and recruit more engineers and staff in Africa. . Following this funding,  John Cowgill  of Costanoa, will join the board of directors of Smile Identity.

Smile Identity was launched in 2017 with a mission to enable Africans wherever they are to quickly and easily prove their identity online, while providing start-ups and established businesses with the tools and software to automate. welcoming customers, verifying identities and avoiding fraud.

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Africans spend a lot of time trying to prove or verify their identity to gain access to financial accounts, loans, SIM cards, proof of address and social services. An estimated 500 million Africans have no official ID. “We believe that anyone should be able to prove their identity easily, anywhere in the world, and that access to a modern digital lifestyle should not depend on the origin of your ID card or your IP address” , said Mark Straub, Co-Founder and CEO of Smile Identity.

In order to standardize identity verification across the continent and provide a one-stop solution to a new generation of African businesses, Smile Identity is working with local authorities responsible for identification and has developed a platform that combines validation from identity to easy recognition as well as proprietary authenticity checks to promote unattended, consent-based access and financial inclusion.

The company performs over a million identity checks every month across Africa and its software is used in banking, fintech, ridesharing, labor inspection, public programs. social protection and telecommunications.Paystack ,  Paga  and Chippercash  ; neobanks like Kudabank  and Umba; traditional banks like Stanbic IBTC  ; cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance , Luno, and Paxful; and even logistics companies like Twiga .

“Smile Identity has boosted our hyper-growth in Africa, accelerating our ability to acquire real users and create a great KYC user experience for our customers. Thanks to Smile Identity, we were able to automate our compliance process and reduce the time to complete the KYC procedure by 99%, from 2 days to 2 minutes. Within six weeks of implementing Smile Identity’s automated KYC solution, we reached # 1 on the App Store in South Africa, ”said  Chippercash  co-founder and president of Maijid Moujaled .

With subsidiaries, branches and engineers in Nigeria , Kenya , South Africa, Ghana , Rwanda , Uganda and elsewhere, Smile Identity’s growing team is made up of people from 12 different countries, including 8 African nations.

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