African Identity Verification and KYC Provider Smile Identity Raises $20m Series B

African identity verification and digital Know Your Customer (KYC) provider Smile Identity has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round.

Costanoa and Norrsken22 led the round.

Smile Identity focuses on identity verification and KYC compliance and uses a suite of products to help clients avoid fraud and onboard customers efficiently.

These include identity verification, document verification, user onboarding, anti-fraud checks, and liveness checks, among others. The platform uses biometric deduplication, whereby customers sign up to the platform and take a selfie with their ID to facilitate identity checks.

Smile Identity will use the funding to expand its product and engineering team, accelerating the development and specialization of its AI-powered biometrics and document verification.

Since its $7 million Series A in 2021, Smile Identity said it has completed 50 million KYC checks in Africa. 

It shared insights in its KYC report which revealed that there were more biometric fraud attempts on buy now pay later (BNPL) platforms than crypto platforms in 2022.

According to a statement, Smile Identity’s CEO and Co-founder, Mark Straub, said, “we believe the majority of people are honest, the challenge in the digital age is to prove this, regardless of how a user onboards – whether via agents, apps, tablets, the web, blockchains or paper forms.” 

He added that he was thrilled to have the support of investors and partners as the company makes Africa one of the most trusted consumers in the world. 

Costanoa and Norrsken22 led Smile Identity’s $20 million Series B round, with participation from others, including Commerce Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Two Culture Capital, and Valuestream Ventures.

The startup said it would use the funding to expand its product and engineering team to accelerate the specialization of its AI-powered biometrics, document verification, anti-fraud, and compliance solutions. 

The funding will also help it grow its teams in East, West, and Southern Africa, as well as enter Francophone and Arab-speaking regions of the continent.

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Nichole Manhire

Is the media and brand manager at GFA News. She works very closely with editors and podcasters that contribute to telling the African business success story. For marketing and advertising send Nichole an email:

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