Yoti to expand global biometrics business after $10M investment at over $100M valuation
Yoti has raised £8.7 million (US$10.6 million) in new equity investment, according to EU Startups, and intends to use the funds to grow its biometric consumer networks, invest in product development, and expand globally. The investment gives the company a post-money equity valuation of £90 million ($109.3 million).
In a blog post announcing the funding, the company put the numbers at £8 million ($9.7 million) for the investment and £82 million ($99.6 million) for the valuation. The funding comes from existing investors, employees, and co-founder and CEO Robin Tombs.
The company is participating in a massive curb-to-gate biometrics project at Heathrow Airport, providing facial recognition for age verification at supermarket self checkout machines from NCR, and its digital identity technology is now used by 10 percent of adults in Jersey through a partnership with the channel island’s government. Yoti is also used in 2,000 convenience stores across the UK for age verification, after its technology was approved by an industry group earlier this year.
“We believe there’s tremendous potential in the use of digital identity for everyone,” says Tombs. “Over the past few years we have invested about £65 million to develop our privacy-preserving identity system, giving individuals a safe and secure way to prove their age or identity, for free. I’m really proud of what the team has achieved so far, including working with the Government of Jersey, partnering with Heathrow Airport and NCR, developing our AI age estimation technology – which lets individuals prove their age without sharing any personal details – and most recently launching Yoti to local convenience stores nationwide to help tackle the increasing quality and accessibility of fake IDs.
“I’m also very excited by the potential of our social impact work, which aims to develop solutions for grassroots, local communities, and developing countries; helping to address the 1.1 billion people around the world who do not have any form of identification. This latest funding round will help us to continue to grow our consumer network and work with businesses globally to give as many people as possible a simpler and safer way of proving who they are.”
Yoti has been expanding its teams in Bangalore and the U.S., and its app has been downloaded more than 4.7 million times. The company is also offering its ProveMyAge app for access to adult websites from the UK once the Digital Economy Act goes into force, and says it is the first approved under the BBFC Age Verification Certification Scheme.