Japan’s SBI Investment leads $50m round in UK’s Onfido

Tokyo-based SBI Investment, the asset management arm of SBI Group, has led a $50-million investment in Onfido, a London-based technology company that handles document verification and facial biometrics using artificial intelligence.

The latest investment brings the total investment in the company to over $100 million.

Leading the latest round together with SBI is the startup’s existing investor, Salesforce Ventures, the venture capital arm of California-based Salesforce.com,

The investment is expected to be made out of SBI’s $450-million AI & Blockchain fund announced last year and will mark SBI’s first investment out of the fund in a UK company.

The round was contributed by over a dozen of other investors, including M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), Fin VC and its other existing investors.

Acequia Capital, Tuesday Capital, Crane Venture Partners, Idinvest Partners, Augmentum Fintech plc, Wellington Partners, Plug & Play Venture Group, B&Y Venture Partners, CreditEase Ventures, TempoCap, and Talis Capital are on the list too.

Founded in 2012, Onfido helps businesses verify people’s identities online and carry out background checks. Current, Drivy, DraftKings, Europcar, and Zipcar are a few of its customers.

Looking forward, Onfido is also targeting advancing its product development.

“We chose to invest in Onfido because they have proven their expertise at using artificial intelligence to effectively fight fraud, giving businesses a safe and secure way to scale their businesses online,” said Tomoyuki Nii, executive officer, SBI Investment.

The company said its AI-powered identity verification system can use a photo of an identity document and a selfie video to access a host of online services, in a matter of seconds from leading firms in a number of industries.

The company will tap the identity verification-as-a-service market, predicted by McKinsey, to hit $20 billion by 2022.

Currently having offices across San Francisco, New York, Lisbon, and New Delhi, Onfido is also looking to consolidate its core market in the US and accelerate its expansion into high-growth regions including Europe and South-East Asia.

The company claims over 1,500 customers worldwide and automates checks on over 4,500 document types across 195 countries.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.