Socure plans to double workforce again in support of 100 percent IDV ambitions
Socure has plans for the $450 million the company raised in a Series E round announced earlier this month, which include a major hiring spree, but not a rush into international markets, CEO Johnny Ayers tells Biometric Update in an interview.
The funding round will instead be used to fuel Socure’s expansion into a range of verticals, diversifying a customer base that thus far has been mostly made up of financial services companies.
Commerce tends to be built on the back of financial services, Ayers points out, suggesting that this gives Socure a relatively straightforward path into other verticals.
“That’s really what we’ve been doing in the last 12 to 18 months,” he explains.
Opportunities outside of financial services continue to grow, as well, with the number of states with legal online gambling growing from 4 up to over two dozen within the past couple of years.
A unique model
Socure’s approach to maximizing identity verification accuracy is to develop each capability that it needs in-house, and integrate those capabilities for customers as needed through its platform.
Ayers describes it as “an end-to-end platform where we’ve developed and built out every dimension of a consumer’s identity,” rhyming off “email, phone, address, date-of-birth, social, IP, device, physical document, face, liveness, into a single set of services.”
This differentiates Socure, he says, from competing selfie biometrics and ID document authentication providers who sell their technology into platforms, and platforms integrating third-party technology.
“No-one today has built out every dimension like we have,” he states. “We really built like six or seven different companies into a single service.”
Between them, they provide a dozen different capabilities in a modularized architecture, looking at 17 thousand features per identity, and “today we believe that any one of those modules as a stand-alone is the best in the market,” Ayers says.
He believes the aggregate result far surpasses competitors in approaching a 100 percent verification rate for good identities and predicting synthetic and third-party ID fraud.
While Ayers believes the company has the pole position for biometric and overall IDV accuracy, the march towards 100 percent continues.
“That means building out our velocity engine, continuing to build out our device graph, that means continuing to invest in verifying 18, 19, 20-year-olds, new to country, emerging identities, folks that are credit-invisible. This is a perpetual problem.”
Fraudsters are also investing in better tools, of course, “but they’re economics are better because they don’t pay taxes,” Ayers quips.
Socure is continuing to invest, therefore, in computer vision for document authentication, and is also investing in ongoing verification.
What Ayers calls a “futuristic project” is “Really looking into persistent identifiers credential creation, where Socure can actually own that front-end of signing up and verifying their identity, as well as when we look across this massive graph that we’ve created, not just looking at the identity risk of but also looking at payment risk, first party transaction risk, looking into the next couple of derivatives. Once you know definitively this is Chris, what other questions do you want to answer about whether you want to do business with this particular individual?”
Future growth for Socure is dependent first and foremost on keeping at the head of the pack in terms of capabilities. The space is highly quantitative, Ayers notes, so the ability to provide exactly what the customer is looking for has measurable value.
Maintaining a measurable lead, therefore, is paramount, and Socure intends to add more talent to its team to do so.
“Talent is and will always be the key to our success,” Ayers says.
Socure will finish the year at or just over 500 employees, and Ayers says the plan is to surpass 1,100 by end of 2022.
Socure’s U.S. focus is a strategic choice, and related to what he describes as the company’s very conscious decision to go after the financial services industry first. This specialization has yielded a solid client base despite the narrow focus, and the next step, according to Ayers, is into markets like telehealth, online prescriptions, ecommerce marketplaces, alcohol and cannabis delivery, car and home rentals, and age checks. The public sector also looms as a target market, with federal investment committed.
“We’re getting smarter very fast,” says Ayers. “We’ve developed the most comprehensive identity graph in the industry. We analyze over 8 billion identity records and have nearly a billion rows of known good and bad outcomes. This is enabling us to distance ourselves from the competitors very quickly. The more customers we get, the more data we get, the more data we get the smarter we get, and the smarter we get the more customers we get.”
authentication | biometrics | digital identity | document verification | face biometrics | financial services | fraud prevention | identity verification | investment | onboarding | secure transactions | Socure