Smile Identity secures $7 million to enhance companies, plan bigger across markets


Smile Identity, a startup that presents identity (ID) verification and Know-Your-Buyer (KYC) compliance tools for African corporations, on Thursday announced that it has raised a $7 million Series A spherical of funding.

The funding was collectively led by Costanoa Ventures and pan-African endeavor agency CRE Enterprise Capital with the participation of alternative investors. These encompass VCs like LocalGlobe, Intercept Ventures, Future Africa, unnamed angel investors, as neatly as present investors similar to Khosla Affect, ValueStream Ventures, Beta Ventures, 500 Startups, and Chronicle Ventures.

With the contemporary funding, Smile Identity plans to enhance its companies and plan bigger across more markets. This also can additionally add strengthen for more ID forms as neatly as hire more engineers and strengthen group across Africa. The funding additionally brings on John Cowgill, a partner at Costanoa, on the board of Smile Identity.

Smile Identity logo.

Smile Identity was based by Impress Straub and William Bares in 2017. The firm has since established operations in six African countries, which encompass Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda. 

The firm’s blueprint is currently frail by corporations in just a few sectors similar to banking, fintech, hotfoot-sharing, worker verification, and telecommunications. Smile Identity charges its potentialities on a per-quiz basis. 

Its suite of about 80 clients involves funds corporations like Paystack, Paga, and Chipper Money; digital banks Kuda and Umba and primitive banks like Stanbic IBTC; cryptocurrency replace platforms like Binance, Luno, and Paxful; and present-chain agencies like Twiga Meals.

Speaking with TechCrunch, Straub said Smile Identity in particular helps fintechs place of dwelling appropriate and potentially unfriendly users who would possibly well hurt their agencies in the future. 

“We’re an accelerant of the expansion of fintechs and shared economy corporations because they know as soon as they use cash on potentialities, those are right potentialities because they believe got if truth be told performed verification with us,” he said.

According to records on the firm’s web train, Smile Identity connects to over 15 just a few ID authorities and its ID validation covers over 250 million identities across Africa.

This funding brings total investments raised by Smile Identity to $11 million. It secured a $4 million seed spherical in 2019.

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