Back

Onfido’s story

Onfido’s story Startup Stories

While at pre-product, pre-revenue stage, Onfido raised £120,000 from SFC. Since then, it has expanded internationally and reached an annual turnover of £5m.

Highlights:
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Headquarter: London
  • Other locations: Lisbon, San Franscisco
  • Total Funding: $60.3M (as reported by Crunchbase)
  • Founders: Eamon Jubbawy, Husayn Kassai, Ruhul Amin
  • Founded: 2012
  • Current valuation: £100M
  • Total Funding: $60.3M
  • Fundraising information is undisclosed and presented values are estimates only
Case Study:

Onfido is an innovative software company that helps businesses verify people’s identities using a photo-

based identity document, a selfie and various AI algorithms. It was founded in 2012 by Oxonians Husayn Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin and in 2013 received its first equity funding of over £120,000 from Startup Funding Club’s Angel Network at a fraction of today’s value. Headquartered in London, the company has progressively worked towards building trust in an online world by helping businesses digitally verify the identities of potential employees and adding to their portfolio of clients brands as Deliveroo, Google and Tesco. Within only a few years, Onfido attracted a number of new investors, has grown from a three-member team in a tiny office at Speedy Place to a 100+ business with offices in London, Lisbon and San Franscisco, and reached an annual turnover of over £5m.

Onfido’s founders met at Oxford University while they were still students. The three had entered discussions of forming a new company after they had identified the inefficient process behind background checks in the finance industry, which, since they were usually done by hand, many were also seen as prone to human error. The graduates, using their skillsets and ambition, then decided to build a technological solution to tackle this issue and received support from the Oxford University Innovation Incubator.

According to UK fraud prevention body CIFAS, “63% of confirmed frauds in the first half of 2014 were employment application frauds. That is serious fraudulent declarations about employment history, qualifications, criminal records and identity fraud.”

Onfido’s innovative technology has allowed thousands of companies in the Sharing Economy market to check on the behind-the-scenes history of many of their own employees. Onfido has won prestigious accolades throughout the years – one of them being Sage Startup’s “Business of the Year” award in 2016 – and with no doubt can call itself “the world’s best identity verification engine for enterprises.” With exceptional numbers to showcase their growth, there is no surprise to the amount of funds they have received from a plethora of Ventures. $60m in total funding has allowed the business to expand, especially in the United States, which is now their largest market. Onfido has also appointed ex-Google director Edward Ungar as Chief Commercial Officer in an effort to accelerate global growth. Following the opening of its first US office in San Francisco, Ungar will manage the firm’s global relationships with clients.

It is worthy to note that Onfido’s main competitor at the moment is Checkr, which has established itself in the United States. According to comparisons done by Siftery, Checkr is more popular with companies of small to medium size, whereas Onfido is popular with companies of 1000+ employees. Nonetheless, this shows the increasing demand for this kind of service as does the competitive landscape that has dramatically changed in the last few years.

Onfido offers three different products to companies from varied sectors:

  • The ID Record Check cross-references the user’s details against a range of verified global databases and credit reference agencies.
  • The Document Check ensures that the user’s identity has not been forged, digitally tampered with, lost or stolen.
  • The Facial Check reduces the risk of impersonation fraud. By comparing the user’s identity document with a selfie, they make sure that they are who they claim to be.

With companies like Uber expanding globally, there is no doubt that Onfido will continue to impress – especially if the demand for this service keeps rising at it has been in the last few years. In this day and age, building trust in an online world has not been an easy feat for many businesses. Companies with hundreds of employees just cannot afford to spend weeks of their time or effort on background checks that are easily prone to human error. The service has already been used by affluent businesses across different industries – such as Ubereats, Google and Wag – that shows that its dominance in the business world will continue to exceed expectations throughout the coming years.

Alex Batlle Bosch
Marketing Manager