SoftBank, General Atlantic bet values Incode at US$1.25bil


Identity verification startup Incode Technologies has seen its value blow up ten-fold following another funding round, as demand for such technology continues to rise during the pandemic. — freepik.com

Incode Technologies, a startup that operates an identity verification and authentication platform used by companies including American Express Co. and Citigroup Inc., has been valued at US$1.25bil (RM5.29bil), a roughly 10-fold step-up over its prior mark.

The San Francisco-based company raised US$220mil (RM930.49mil) in a funding round led by General Atlantic and SoftBank’s Latin America-focused fund, Chief Executive Officer and founder Ricardo Amper said in an interview.

Other investors include J.P. Morgan Technology Ventures, Capital One Ventures, Coinbase Ventures and Silicon Valley CISO Investments, a syndicate of chief information security officers. Existing backers DN Capital, 3L Capital, Dila Capital and Framework Ventures also invested.

Increased adoption of online identity verification can be credited to the pandemic, said Amper.

"Companies were not prepared,” he said, describing an erosion of trust between consumers and corporations amid an explosion of fraudulent activity. "Companies want to know who you are with high certainty and little friction,” he said.

Incode’s customers include HSBC Holdings Plc, Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB, Sixt SE, financial-technology startups Ualá, Nubank and Clip, and Cornershop, a grocery-delivery platform owned by Uber Technologies Inc.

The startup has verified over 175 million identities since inception including more than 140 million in this year alone. Incode has the potential to eliminate bias as it relates to functions such as granting loans, as well as to promote democracy by facilitating biometric voting in developing nations, Amper said.

Incode plans to spend the new funding on advancing its artificial-intelligence technology and accelerating expansion into new geographies. It operates in the US, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and the UK.

Amper said he expects that number to more than double in 2022, with the addition of Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, among others, and that Incode will seek to make acquisitions to expand its offerings.

"There’s an opportunity to burn down huge barriers that exist in human-based identification,” Amper said.

Founded in 2015 with a focus on photo-sharing, Incode pivoted into identity in 2018 and counts startups including Jumio and Onfido among its rivals. Incode was last valued at about US$125mil (RM528.69mil) following a funding round in March, Amper said.

"The market opportunity in identity access management is rapidly expanding as the pace of digitisation continues to accelerate globally,” Martín Escobari, General Atlantic’s co-president, said in an emailed statement. "We see exciting white space for Incode to capture as the company expands into new use cases and industries,” added Escobari, who is joining Incode’s board. – Bloomberg

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