Youverify, a Nigerian identity verification startup has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. This comes two years after it raised an undisclosed sum in pre-seed funding.
Youverify’s pre-seed funding was led by a US-based venture capital firm, Village Capital. Nigerian VC, Chinook Capital also participated in the round.
This most recent round was led by Orange Digital Ventures Africa with participation from LoftyInc Afropreneurs Fund. LoftyInc Afropreneurs is an early-stage fund that has funded tech companies like RelianceHMO, Andela, and Flutterwave.
The company announced the funding in a tweet.
+1 in our @orange #Ventures Africa portfolio: Youverify, #identity & #data verification platform for businesses to #automate due diligence & #compliance
👏Congratulations to the team https://t.co/5MQNdWbWAi on raising their #SeedFunding https://t.co/KpUV3Yw1Dz #OrangeStartup pic.twitter.com/W9mdNjh5oy
— Orange D. Ventures (@Orange_DV) March 10, 2020
Youverify was founded in 2017. It helps automate due diligence and compliance by using data to help financial and telecommunication companies to make accurate decisions.
This startup is stepping into a role that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is failing in. The NIMC is the government commission responsible for identity management and capturing. However, the commission has not lived up to its duties.
The commission for instance paired with Chams and Mastercard to develop a reliable identity card management system. However, that effort has so far been wasted. The National Identity Card enrollment began in 2010 and a decade later, millions of citizens have allegedly not seen their ID cards.
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Youverify is, therefore, trying to resolve the identity management crises.
“Youverify is an API service whereby we’ve aggregated all the existing government IDs. From one source with ten lines of code, you can verify any government-issued ID quickly. “We’re building an infrastructure across Africa for verification. So we want to make it very easy, a modern infrastructure so you can verify so that you can verify individuals and their addresses easily,” Youverify CEO Gbenga Odegbami said at the TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin in 2019.
The company also says “some of the biggest banks, fintech platforms and on-demand platforms in Nigeria” use its API.
Youverify to take advantage of seed funding in its expansion
Odegbami describes the seed funding as an opportunity to take a step closer to Youverify’s goal of being the leading player in the identity verification space in Africa.
“This constitutes a unique opportunity for us to take further our ambition to simplify and secure our client’s internal processes, whether in the recruitment of staff, customer onboarding, etc. Our ambition is to be the leading African player in verifying people’s and companies’ identities by making data protection and security the core of our proposal,” Odegbami said.
Idris Bello, managing partner at LoftyInc also says his firm is excited to be part of the seed funding.
“We are excited to back Youverify in its quest. The investment fits into our thesis of backing strong local founding teams with a bias towards execution, leveraging technology in solving key problems across Africa large markets. We have worked closely with Gbenga and his team over the past year and are excited to joint ODV and others on this journey,” He said
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