OCR Labs raises €12.5M to bring ID doc and selfie biometrics checks to UK, Turkish markets

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Australian startup OCR Labs has raised €12.5 million (roughly US$15.2 million) in a Series A funding round to bring its biometric solution for digital ID verification to market in the UK and Turkey.

The investment was led by Oyak Group, and OCR Labs plans to use the funds to fuel further innovation and grow its teams in London and Istanbul. An international headquarters is already established in London.

OCR Labs launched its ID document and biometric checks to the Australian and New Zealand markets three years ago, following six years of research and development, to help companies address challenges with identity fraud and regulatory compliance.

The company offers five proprietary technologies, including optical character recognition (OCR) from identity documents, document fraud assessment, liveness detection, video fraud assessment, and biometric matching. They are integrated in an end-to-end solution to support anti money-laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations, and the company says can improve customer conversion rates while stopping fraud.

OCR Labs Co-founder and CPO Daniel Aiello noted what he called the “exponential” growth in digital verification, with demand from new sectors accelerating “what needed to happen.”

“No-one wants to spend hours trying to prove who they are, whether it’s for a job or for a bank account, and we also want to know we’re protected against identity theft and fraud,” Aiello says. “Digital ID verification has a key role to play, but this year we’ve also seen the limitations if hybrid models are used. People are a barrier and a risk, but fully automated technology can have a huge impact on many industries and privacy. OCR Labs is built to be secure, frictionless and fast, and capable of recognising ID documents the world over.”

OCR Labs serves banks and other businesses in highly-regulated industries, as well as telco, ecommerce, real estate, and other verticals. The company says it has had triple-digit growth in Australia since its launch.

As part of its expansion, OCR Labs has appointed Russ Cohn as general manager of international operations. After expanding into the EMEA region the company plans to continue exploring new international markets.

The company is already working with Reed Screening in the UK as rules around identity verification for hiring return to force. Reed Screening has also formed a partnership with Idemia to address this looming use case.

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