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Swiss biometrics startup PXL Vision raises $4.7M as Onfido and Socure add digital identity customers

Swiss biometrics startup PXL Vision raises $4.7M as Onfido and Socure add digital identity customers

PXL Vision has raised approximately CHF 4.6 million (US$4.7 million) to grow its biometric facial recognition and ID document verification internationally.

Swiss Stock Exchange VC firm Six Fintech Ventures led the seed financing round, with participation from ZKB, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Arab Bank, and angel investors Beat Schillig and David Studer. PXL was spun out of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in 2017.

Companies using the startup’s real-time smartphone-based government ID document and biometric selfie technology include leading Swiss identity provider SwissID, Sunrise, Salt, UPC and ZKB, the latter of which has implemented it for a pension savings app.

The new funding will be used to boost PXL Vision’s technology’s intelligence and scalability, as well as international expansion of its business operations, according to the announcement. Chief Business Officer Karim Nemr says the company will significantly expand its sales, marketing and development teams.

“Having demonstrated that we can compete against large and established suppliers in a very competitive market, it is now time to expand beyond national borders,” says PXL Vision CEO Michael Born.

The company currently has a team of more than 40 and has been recognized with the Swiss Economic Award, the W.A. De Vigier Award, and the Swisscom Startup Challenge Award all in 2019.

“PXL Vision’s unique AI technology and innovation pipeline, its flexible and modular product portfolio and the impressive track record of its experienced management team convinced us. We fully expect PXL Vision to become one of the leading providers of digital identity solutions worldwide,” says Andreas Iten, Head of SIX Fintech Ventures.

Iten will join PXL Vision’s management board, under the terms of the investment.

WorldRemit automates KYC checks with Onfido biometrics

WorldRemit is partnering with Onfido to make account opening and foreign money transfers faster and easier with facial biometrics optimized for mobile phones that do not have high-resolution cameras.

The partnership allows WorldRemit, which is as an international payments company is FCA regulated, automate its KYC process with Onfido’s selfie and document check technology. Users can receive granular feedback beyond a simple pass or fail in response to applications, with notice of facial orientation or poor lighting conditions as a reason for failed verification, allowing customers to make adjustments and try again.

“International payment transfers shouldn’t have to be costly for businesses and complex for users,” observes Onfido CEO and Co-founder Husayn Kassai. “We’re pleased to be supporting a forward-thinking remittance platform such as WorldRemit which strives to provide the best for its users. We’re delighted to be helping them streamline their processes to get new users onboard swiftly and securely while meeting strict compliance regulations.”

The partnership also enables WorldRemit to quickly alert the relevant authorities to protect people, including non-customers, who may have had their ID stolen or tampered with, according to the announcement.

Socure digital identity intelligence integrated with Artis’ lending platform

Financial services platform provider Artis Technologies has partnered with Socure to integrate Day Zero digital identity verification for validation of consumer loan applicant’s identities in real-time.

Socure’s predictive analytics platform leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning with digital and offline data for robust and accurate KYC, identity verification, and fraud risk predication processes, according to the announcement. Embedded within Artis’ platform, the technology differentiates between fraudulent and legitimate customers within milliseconds, reducing friction for end users.

Remote and digital banking are expected to be even more prevalent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the companies note in the press release.

“Digital-first (and digital-only) banking needs an elevated standard for identity verification, built around providing a holistic, data-driven view of fraud risk in an instant,” comments Socure Senior VP of Sales Rhon Daguro. “Particularly with Artis’ unique approach to consumer financing, there’s a heightened need to provide quick approvals on the spot without complicating or prolonging the application process, while also ensuring confidence in that decision. Our companies share an understanding of risk being multidimensional, and are excited to partner in powering smarter, more effective lending.”

Socure will hold a webinar on the increase in fraud attacks in the suddenly-altered banking and fintech market on May 26 at 2 pm EDT. A discussion between Socure executives will examine new-account fraud patterns, market drivers impacting fraud patterns, and risks and opportunities in the space.

A recording will be available from the company’s website following the live presentation.

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