Youverify secures $2.5 million pre-Series A funding for expansion into new markets

March 14, 2024
2 min read

The news: 

  • Youverify, a Nigerian-based platform that provides banks and startups with identity verification and anti-money laundering (AML) solutions, has raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A investment. 
  • The company received the funds from Elm Investment, a Saudi-born investment outfit that backs budding technology ecosystems globally, focusing on the MENA region. 
  • The funding round will also include a strategic collaboration that will see Youverify streamline AML compliance for businesses, promote global risk intelligence, and expand its product offerings into new markets. 

Gbenga Odegbami (CEO) founded Youverify in 2018 to provide an API for address and identity verification to many institutions. Since then, the company has expanded its real-time business verification operation into 145 jurisdictions in 48 countries. 

The company also handles real-time individual verification in 46 countries, which includes credit history and national identity numbers. 

The startup reportedly exceeded its original plan to expand its service coverage to 30 African countries, a goal the company set during its seed extension round in 2022. 

However, Youverify only serves commercial customers in 12 countries, processing 4 million applications per month for over 3,500 companies. This represents a significant increase from the 5 million applications it reportedly processed annually for 400 businesses in 2022. 

Furthermore, the company says its verification capacity has improved from its former 400 million people to 5 billion, in addition to 600 million businesses spanning diverse sectors like telecoms, gaming, travel, and healthcare.

According to the company, it launched its anti-money laundering and risk classification product to target some industries it serves.

Odegbami states that Youverify allows individuals and businesses to verify their identities, registration status, and ownership using government data. However, he points out that the verification process is not like the generic Optical Character Recognition (OCR)-based KYC (Know Your Customer) that uses image recognition to validate identities. 

Youverify explained that it uses "a variety of reliable data sources, including government sanctions and watchlists, global news outlets' sentiment data, country-risk models, and commercially accessible data, to make informed decisions on AML-related risks."

The company, which competes with several companies, including Dojah, Identitypass, and Smile Identity, analyses and assesses risks using established mathematical models and AI algorithms. The platform then generates regulatory reports for regulators in multiple countries. 

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