The Benzinga Global Fintech Awards are a yearly showcase of the best and brightest in fintech. In preparation for its biggest installment yet in May 2018, we’re profiling the companies competing for the BZ Awards.
Our next feature is on Yoti.
What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?
Robin Tombs, CEO & co-founder: Yoti is your digital identity app and your ID on your phone. It gives you a simpler, faster and safer way of proving your identity, both online and in person. You only need to create your account once but you can then use it in many different ways: to prove your age on nights out and when buying age restricted items at supermarket self-checkouts, to prove your identity to businesses without showing or photocopying paper ID documents, and to confirm the identity details of people you meet online. It can also be used to securely log into websites.
The free app is available on Apple and Android phones and each account takes less than five minutes to set up. You take a selfie and scan your ID document with your smartphone, which is then transformed into a digital identity. Every account is securely built and verified around a government issued passport or driving license and personal biometrics.
Yoti solves the day to day annoyances such as lost ID and forgotten passwords, as well as the bigger issues such as fraud, online scams and identity theft. Our solution can help millions of people and businesses around the world, and make a real difference at tackling global issues which cost the economy billions of pounds every year.
Who are your customers?
Tombs: We recently launched Yoti in Bournemouth where a number of businesses and venues are accepting Yoti as proof of ID — including nightclubs Cameo, Halo, Truth, Yates and Walkabout. Local tattoo parlours are also using Yoti to ensure their customers are 18+.
We have partnered with Deltic, the UK’s largest nightclub chain with 57 venues across the country. Deltic own Cameo in Bournemouth and are rolling Yoti out to their other venues throughout the UK, giving their customers a safer way to prove their age on nights out. They’re using Yoti to address age verification issues around physical IDs and fraudulent activity around event tickets, and have a more efficient way to control and decline underage admittances.
Sellers on Freeads can use Yoti to verify their personal details to receive a Trusted Member badge on their profile. This gives buyers more confidence that the seller is genuine which, in turn, creates more trust between buyers and sellers online. We’re also working with NSPCC to give young people a simple and secure way to prove they are under 18 online, and we’re gearing up for pilots with two of the UK’s largest supermarkets.
How long have you been in business?
Tombs: Yoti was founded in 2014 and we officially launched in November 2017. Since then we’ve had over 500,000 installs, a successful equity funding round which valued the company at £65m, and we’ve just launched in India. It’s been a busy few months and we’re excited to see what the rest of the year has in store.
Where are you located?
Tombs: We’re based in London with another office in Mumbai.
Who is your company’s leadership? What kind of experience do they have?
Tombs: Through my work at Gamesys, I’ve been involved in checking the age and identity for over 1.5m UK customers in compliance with UK regulations. Duncan’s work in event management means he’s experienced identity verification at large scale events where ID needs to be checked quickly and efficiently.
In 2014, Duncan and I were at a Spartan race where 10,000 people queuing to register with their passport or driving licence. The process was long, outdated and a potential security risk, with people leaving valuable ID documents in a tent during the race. We said there must be a better way for people to prove their identity.
With the advances of biometrics and smartphones we’ve been able to develop a digital identity solution that can be used both online and in person, giving individuals an easier and safer way of proving their identity.
Who are your investors, if any?
Tombs: Yoti is privately funded. To date myself and Noel have invested £25m.
Is there anything else Benzinga should know about your company?
Tombs: We’re on a mission to become the world’s trusted identity platform. We hope Yoti will help millions of people and businesses around the world, giving them a simpler and more secure way of proving and checking identities.
To check out companies like Yoti for yourself, grab a ticket to the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards May 15-16 in New York.
This article was originally published on Benzinga by Spencer White, Event Content Producer at Benzinga Events.