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Big funding bump for biometric ID verification player Incode

Big funding bump for biometric ID verification player Incode

Not nine months after closing a series A round of funding, an ID verification and biometric authentication platform company has closed a B series totaling $220 million. An A series for Incode drew just $25 million in March.

The new funding values Incode at $1.25 billion. Executives say that that is 10 times jump in valuation this year alone.

Already involved in financial services and marketplaces, the funding will help the firm expand into health care where face biometrics is increasingly attractive.

Omnibus tech investor SoftBank Group and growth-equity firm General Atlantic led. SoftBank has taken positions in several verification facial recognition-related startups including some of Incode‘s competitors.

Also participating for the first time were Capital One, J.P. Morgan, Coinbase and more than half of the industry executives making up Silicon Valley CISO Investments, or SVCI.

The latter is an interesting entity. More than 50 chief information security officers have gathered to profit from the maturation of their own industry. Thirty-five of the firm’s members took a combined stake in Incode.

Asked in an email interview about the dramatic funding rise, founder and CEO Ricardo Amper, said that the money anticipates significant company and industry growth.

According to Amper, Incode’s product line, built on proprietary software, has been fully automated from the company’s inception. He claimed that his is “the first passive technology in the world that did not require interaction from users, other than taking a photo.”

Some of his competitors still have some human participation in verification processes, Amper wrote, “which is not an ideal solution.”

Assuming a success record of spotting fraudulent documents and transactions that is at least as good as trained people, the company’s revenue per customer should be greater than competitors’.

Incode’s facial recognition software is “NIST-rated,” he wrote, and, in fact, the biometric verification algorithm is among the top 30 of almost 700 tested by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.

And the still-young industry as a whole is changing.

“In the next five years, the way we interact with each other, in terms of identity verification and how we interact with computers, is going to be completely revolutionized,” Amper wrote.

COVID has not stopped how it is changing business. In-person transactions likely will never return to pre-pandemic familiarity, making digital ID verification and biometric authentication increasingly strategic.

Of the company’s competitive set, SoftBank has invested in unico, Acesso Digital, Credify and Onfido.

That does not bother him, he wrote, nor does he think SoftBank will forget about his company. The industry is large, and many players have unique angles or capabilities.

Brazil-based unico, “is a reputable company, but they are limited” geographically to operating in that nation. Amper wrote that Credify has “new and interesting” products but is significantly less mature than Incode.

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