January 30, 2023

Youverify came into Africa’s regtech scene when founder and CEO Gbenga Odegbami founded the company in 2018. Launched in the Nigerian market, Youverify first provided an API for address and identity verification to several financial institutions. Now it has added more KYC products and expanded into new markets such as Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. 

The company currently specializes in Information Technology and Services, Internet Software, Identity Management, and Enterprise Software areas.

It develops an online background screening platform designed to provide identity and background screening for enterprises and startups. The company’s platform delivers next-generation background checks that include the detection of identity fraud, strict privacy with encrypted data, free and secure digital identity, and easy and simple background verification, enabling businesses to have identity attestation, risk assessment, and identity risk scoring in a secured manner.

Youverify is building trust in Africa by helping businesses and individuals confirm identity and physical addresses. Using artificial intelligence, Youverify confirms a user’s identity document and compares it with their facial biometrics. 

This information can be cross-checked against databases locally and globally. Youverify in partnership with field verification officers verifies physical addresses all over Sub-Saharan Africa in less than 48 hours. They bridge the gap in Africa’s digital industry by providing one API for identity and physical address verification. Founded by two entrepreneurs from Harvard and Warwick.

Youverify’s customer base increased to serve more banks and high-growth startups. Youverify’s application processes have grown to more applications that have helped its clients hire talent, sell financial products, and remotely onboard ride-hailing drivers. The company’s YouID digital identity platform added more users, with service providers on its marketplace waitlist across the continent.

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How it Works

Know Your Customer (KYC)

 Know Your Customer is carried out by companies to verify the identity of customers in compliance with laws, regulations, and legal requirements. You can picture KYC as the framework that defines the standard for fighting online fraud.

Although KYC affects virtually all industries, it is most relevant to businesses in the banking and finance sectors. It also applies to similar finance sectors like real estate, insurance, trading, and even crypto.

KYC is the process of identifying and verifying the identity of a customer to prevent having commercial or financial relations with individuals related to money laundering, corruption, or terrorism. Usually, such individuals pretend under a false identity to perpetrate illegal acts to avoid the authorities.

Regardless of how perfect it may appear, there are limitations in technology systems and processes. As a result, most banks undergo frequent manual KYC reviews necessary for risks about respective customers after onboarding.

The process involves such a business or organization assessing the customer to check if they have been in line with expectations. As a rule of thumb, customers with high risks are reviewed once yearly, while low-risk clients could be every 3 to 5 years. The exact duration for periodic KYC reviews depends on the risk factors surrounding such clients. 

Youverify OS (YVOS)

In a bid to serve more clients, the company launched its proprietary technology, the Youverify OS (YVOS), which provides a single platform for automating due diligence and combines risk and compliance management with its core identity verification platform to deliver these fintechs an enterprise-grade compliance solution.

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 With its other product, vFORM, a low and no-code tool, businesses can create a custom process for onboarding new customers using a drag-and-drop builder. 

Founders

Gbenga Odegbami

gbenga odegbami

Gbenga Odegbami is a Co-Founder at Youverify. 

He earned his doctoral degree in business administration at the Paris School of Business.

Suru Avoseh

Suru Avoseh

Suru Avoseh is a Partner and Co-Founder of Chinook Capital Limited. 

He is also the Co-Founder of Youverify and Safi. NG.

He attended Harvard Business School and earned his master’s degree at Aston University.

Investors & Funding Rounds

VCs Orange Ventures, LoftyInc Capital, Octerra Capital, Plug & Play Venture, Syntax Ventures, HTTP Investors, Afer Group, and Fronesyz Capital.

Youverify has secured a $1 million seed round extension. The startup had raised a $1.5 million round, bringing its total seed raise to $2.5 million. 

Africa-focused VCs Orange Ventures and LoftyInc Capital, the two investors who co-led its initial seed round, also led the extension. Additional investment came from Octerra Capital, Plug & Play Venture, Syntax Ventures, HTTP Investors, Afer Group, and Fronesyz Capital. 

Youverify plans to grow its footprint to cover 30 countries, especially in the southern, eastern, and francophone parts of Africa, where the company will be recruiting aggressively. 

It also intends to increase the number of IDs it can verify, and develop new automated compliance products for the gaming, travel, healthcare, and telecommunications industries.

Main Competitors

Smith.ai: This is a superior call answering and intake service for small and solo businesses.

Global Data Consortium: It is building a process for global digital identity verification for businesses.

Intento: Intento Machine Translation Hub allows global enterprises to translate more on the same budget.

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