Brit millennials win $50 million backing from Softbank, Salesforce, Microsoft

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

British AI startup Onfido has secured $50 million in funding from investors including Salesforce, Softbank, and Microsoft.

The firm has raised around $100 million to date, but is not currently revealing its valuation.

Onfido is an ID verification service that uses a combination of AI and human work to check the validity of as many as 4,500 different identification documents.

The platform uses a selfie and checks it against an official document to make sure that that the user is who they say they are. Onfido analyses visual information, much of which is not visible to the human eye, to provide what it says is a highly accurate service.

The company, founded in 2012, already boasts 1,500 business customers including Zipcar and Europcar.

Onfido is the brainchild of three Oxford graduates, whose average age is just 29. One of them, CEO Husayn Kassai, told CNBC that the idea came from witnessing how difficult it was for his Iranian-born parents to apply for bank accounts when they arrived in the UK. He says Onfido not only helps businesses prevent fraud, but also opens up access to financial services to those who have traditionally been excluded.

Kassai said: “It basically took them months to be able to open a bank account and rent in their own name – and it’s all because they weren’t registered with the credit bureau.”

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