African identity verification and KYC provider Smile Identity raises $20m Series B

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February 15, 2023
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2 min read

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The news:

  • 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 will use the funding to expand its product and engineering team, accelerating the development and specialisation 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 shared with Techpoint Africa, 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.”  

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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 specialisation 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. 

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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