UK-headquartered digital identity startup Yoti has announced plans to set up operations in India. As part of the move, it will reportedly partner with the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI), the External Affairs ministry’s passport department and a few banks, in order to help with the identity verification of applicants.
Commenting on the development, Robin Tombs, founder and CEO of Yoti said, “After three years of hard work by the team and a successful UK launch, we’re really excited to now be bringing Yoti to India, where nearly 300 million adults have smartphones. Indians, many of them millennials, are well educated and open to adopting new technologies.”
Madhu Nori, International Commercial Director of Yoti explained, “India is a key market for us in addition to the UK and the US. Consumers are increasingly aware of the relevance and impact of linking identity to access services and keen to protect misuse of their private information. We are making significant technology investments and have designed our product to work with multiple verification sources including Aadhaar, PAN and driving licence databases.”
“We look forward to working closely with our business partners and the regulators to make digital interactions safer, simpler, more secure and in full control of our consumers,” he added.
About Yoti: Eyeing 2 Mn Customers By 2018 End
Founded in 2014 by Robin Tombs, Duncan Francis and Noel Hayden, Yoti is a London-based startup that offers digital identity services to its clients. With a team of over 160 people, the company currently has an office in the US.
Yoti’s system, according to Tombs, relies on biometrics and facial recognition for identity verification. Since its inception, the company has also built a password manager that allows customers to safely store their passwords. This also ensures easy access to their website login details.
To avail its services, customers can simply download the Yoti app and create a digital identity by taking a photo of themselves. Following that, they have to watch a seven-second video, which is a step that ensures the individual is a real person and not a bot.
The final step entails uploading documents such as passport, PAN card, Aadhaar card and driving license, among others.
So far, more than 500K people have installed Yoti, with over 75,000 in December alone from up to 126 countries.
As stated by Tombs, the startup is gearing up to invest around $1.4 Mn to develop India-specific products. A portion of the investment will also go into setting up operations in Mumbai and hiring a team of 25 to 30 people.
Last month, the digital identity startup announced that it had raised $11.1 Mn (£8 Mn) funding from existing angel investors and founders, Robin Tombs and Noel Hayden.
The fundraise raised Yoti’s valuation to over $90.7 Mn (£65 Mn). At the time, it was said that the funds would be used to increase the company’s consumer base to around 2 Mn by 2018.
Globally, the personal identity management (PIM) market is expected to grow at 20% CAGR and reach about $34 Bn by 2024. While the market is still nascent in India, the repeated breaches and attacks incurred by the Aadhaar system have necessitated startups like Yoti that are developing solutions to make personal data more secure.