Onfido secures $30m to take ID technology worldwide

2016 Startups Awards winner marks Microsoft Ventures' first European investment, young founders make history by taking total funding to $60m

The founders behind Startups Awards 2016 overall winner, background checking platform Onfido, have made history after becoming the youngest entrepreneurs to raise $60m in total funding – with an average age of 27.

The record-breaking achievement comes as the London-based business announces a whopping $30m Series C funding round today, led by Crane with backing from Microsoft Ventures. The deal marks the first European investment for Microsoft Ventures.

Existing investors such as Salesforces Ventures also participated in the round.

Established by Young Guns and former Oxford university graduates Eamon Jubbawy, 25; Husayn Kassai, 27; and Ruhul Amin, 29, in 2012, Onfido’s machine learning technology enables ​companies ​to ​automate ​checks ​on ​over ​600 ​document ​types ​across ​192 ​countries.

It detects ​anomalies ​automatically, ​and ​then uses ​human ​experts ​to ​verify ​outliers.

The company’s service is currently used by high-growth companies such as Square, Zipcar, Revolut and PensionBee as a method to seamlessly on-board more customers and has enjoyed five times annual revenue growth for the past three years.

While headquartered ​in ​London, ​Onfido also has ​offices ​in ​San ​Francisco, ​New ​York, ​Lisbon ​and ​New ​Delhi, and has grown from a team of 25 to 150 in just over two years.

The funding is said to enable the company to bring its identity verification technology to companies around the world, “allowing millions more people to access online businesses and services”.

The investment, which follows a $25m Series B round in April 2016 and a $4.5m Series A in February 2015, will also support further research and development in machine learning technology.

Husayn ​Kassai, ​CEO ​and ​co-founder ​of ​Onfido, ​said the business is taking identity verification from being “frozen in time in an offline world”:

“​Millions ​of ​people who ​don’t ​have ​a ​credit ​history ​– ​or ​just ​have ​a ​thin ​one ​– ​are ​unable ​to ​access ​everyday ​services. With ​our ​identity ​verification ​technology, ​those ​underserved ​people ​can ​access ​online ​services they ​need, ​and ​businesses ​can ​gain ​access ​to ​a ​whole ​new ​group ​of ​trusted ​customers.”

“​As identity ​verification ​technology ​continues ​to ​evolve, ​it ​will ​become ​the ​key ​to ​remotely ​unlocking a ​huge ​range ​of ​products ​globally, ​from ​banking ​and ​travel ​services ​through ​to ​voting ​and healthcare.”

Crane partner, Scott Sage, added that the firm had invested in Onfido because it has “an unfair advantage in data”:

“Onfido ​has ​one ​of ​the ​strongest ​machine ​learning teams ​we’ve ​come ​across ​from ​all ​over ​Europe, ​and ​we’re ​excited ​to ​see ​how ​they ​continue ​to combine ​data, ​image ​verification ​and ​fraud ​prevention ​technologies ​to ​enable ​businesses ​to scale ​efficiently ​and ​safely.”