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Nigerian KYC Verification Startup, Youverify, Raises $1m Seed Round Extension

Youverify, a Nigerian identity verification company helping African banks and startups automate KYC and other compliance procedures, has announced that it has raised a $1 million seed round extension. The startup raised a $1.5 million round in 2020, bringing its total seed raise to $2.5 million. 

The round was co-led by Orange Ventures and LoftyInc Capital with the participation of Octerra Capital, Plug & Play Venture, Syntax Ventures, HTTP Investors, Afer Group and Fronesyz Capital.

Founded by Gbenga Odegbami in 2018, Youverify aims to help companies automate the verification processes of different types of data treated separately today, such as identity, academic background, home address, credit history, facial recognition, while adhering to the highest standards of regulation and data protection.

In the beginning, Youverify first provided API for address and identity verification to several financial institutions. Now it has added more KYC products and expanded into new markets such as Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. 

As a result of diversifying its clientele and demand for its KYC products, Odegbami said Youverify’s customer base increased by 300% to serve more than 400 banks and high-growth startups.

In the last 24 months, Youverify’s application processes have grown by more than 1,000% to more than 5 million applications that have helped its clients hire talent, sell financial products, and remotely onboard ride-hailing drivers.

The company’s YouID digital identity platform added more than 500,000 users, with 600 service providers on its marketplace waitlist across the continent. Odegbami said the Lagos-based identity verification company crossed an ARR of over $1 million last year.

Over the next 18 months, Youverify plans to grow its footprint to cover 30 countries, especially in the southern, eastern, and francophone parts of Africa. It also intends to increase the number of IDs it can verify, from 400 million to 2 billion, and develop new automated compliance products for the gaming, travel, healthcare, and telecommunications industries.

The proliferation of financial services in Africa is beginning to attract more scrutiny from regulators. According to reports, transactions worth $116 billion will be made through digital payment channels this year, requiring stringent measures to prevent identity theft and fraud.

Therefore, the rise in focus on maintaining transparency in financial regulations and improving strategies for KYC and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) by implementing regulatory technologies has become a significant growth factor for the market. And as regtech demand globally increases, so will Africa’s, with reports saying it will reach about $1.2 billion in the next five years.

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Musa Suleiman
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