LIST | A Look at Identity Verification Startups Operating Across Africa

In this post, we'll explore some of the key identity verification solutions making waves across the continent, revolutionizing the way businesses verify the identities of their users and customers.

In today’s world, the importance of robust identity verification solutions cannot be overstated. From fintech to e-commerce, and from healthcare to government services, businesses across Africa are leveraging innovative identity verification technologies to ensure secure and trustworthy transactions.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the key identity verification solutions making waves across the continent, revolutionizing the way businesses verify the identities of their users and customers.



Established in 2017, Smile ID (Smile Identity) is a startup focusing on identity verification tailored for the African region. The company provides instant digital Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions, identity verification, and user authentication services.

Utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence, Smile Identity offers customized solutions designed specifically for African facial recognition. These solutions encompass face detection, verification, and de-duplication processes.

With over $31 million in funding raised including a $20 million series B announced in Febraury 2023, SmileID services include more than 250 million identities and verification processes for 15 distinct ID types across Africa.

The company claims a capability of conducting over one million identity checks monthly. Noteworthy backers of SmileID include Costanoa Ventures, Future Africa, PTB Ventures, Khosla Impact, 500 Startups, CRE Venture Capital, among others.



SumSub specializes in identity verification and compliance solutions. They offer a platform that enables businesses to verify the identities of their users, comply with regulatory requirements, and prevent fraud.

Sumsub’s services include document verification, biometric facial recognition, and anti-money laundering (AML) checks. Their solutions are used across various industries such as fintech, sharing economy, online marketplaces, and gaming.

In December 2023, the company expanded its non-Document Verification solution into South Africa, Nigeria Kenya, and Ghana.

YouVerify (Nigeria)

Founded in 2017, YouVerify stands out for its AI-powered risk intelligence solutions, offering a diverse range of services including Know Your Transaction (KYT), Know Your Business (KYB), Know Your Employee (KYE), and Know Your Customer (KYC) verification, alongside a no-code workflow automation tool.

Notably, YouVerify’s services find applications across various sectors including finance, trading, marketplaces, gaming, and casinos.

The company has successfully secured significant funding rounds, reflecting investor confidence in its innovative approach. In 2018, Youverify raised $350,000 from VilCap Investments during its seed round, followed by a $1.5M investment from Orange Ventures and other investors in 2020. In 2022, the company secured another $1 million in funding from LoftyInc Capital Management, Orange Ventures, and other investors during its seed round.

Most recently, YouVerify raised a $2.5 million investment from Elm, an investment company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

BACE Group (Ghana)

Charlette N’Guessan Desiree (2nd from left) poses for a photo with her BACE Group team in Ghana when they launched their startup. September 2018. Handout via Charlette N’Guessan Desiree

BACE Group, established in 2018, offers identity verification services without blockchain integration. Through its BACE API, the company provides a comprehensive suite of services including onboarding, ID verification, validation, search, fraud detection, and data extraction, leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as face recognition and liveness tests.

In its initial stages, the company secured $100,000 in funding from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) during its pre-seed round in 2018. Additionally, in 2021, BACE Group received non-equity assistance from UNICEF StartUp Labs, further solidifying its position in the market and highlighting its potential for impactful growth.


DIDx (South Africa)

Lohan Spies, Founder and CEO

DIDx, established in 2019, pioneers Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) solutions built atop blockchain technology.

The company specializes in a range of services, encompassing the development of digital identity solutions, research, framework development, thought leadership, and educational workshops.

By leveraging blockchain, DIDx empowers individuals with control over their digital identities, ensuring security and privacy. In a significant milestone, the company secured $500,000 in funding during its pre-seed round in 2023, with investments from Imvelo Ventures, OneVault, and LSD Capital.



Digified (Egypt)

Founded in 2018, Digified harnesses the power of machine learning to authenticate data, often cross-referencing it with government databases for enhanced accuracy.

Their service offerings encompass a variety of solutions, including Arabic e-KYC, document digitization, face matching, and anti-spoofing measures. In 2019, Digified secured $28,000 in funding during their pre-seed round, with investment from EFG EV Fintech.



FlexID (Zimbabwe)

FlexID Founder, Victor Mapunga

Established in 2018, FlexID represents a convergence of Self Sovereign Identity (SSI), blockchain, and AI technologies.

The platform offers a secure solution for issuing, storing, and sharing verified digital identity credentials by leveraging the Algorand blockchain. By integrating SSI principles with advanced blockchain and AI capabilities, FlexID provides users with enhanced control and security over their digital identities.

Notably, in 2022, FlexID received a grant from the Algorand Foundation, further validating its innovative approach and highlighting its potential to shape the future of digital identity management.



VerifyMe (Nigeria)

Team VerifyMe including CEO Esigie Aguele (2nd from left)

Established in 2013, VerifyMe distinguishes itself through its array of services tailored for customer onboarding, contactless account opening, employment verification, liveness detection, Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, address verification, and guarantor verification.

Notably, Verifyme’s innovative approach involves leveraging Engage-to-earn Verifyme agents to build Africa’s largest last-mile verification network, facilitating efficient and reliable verification processes.

In 2020, the company secured funding from Consonance Investment Managers during its Series A round.



Uqudo (Middle East and Africa)

Founded in 2018, Uqudo operates in the Middle East and Africa specializes in digital Know Your Customer (KYC) and verification solutions.

The company provides facial recognition capabilities, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and sanction checks, Know Your Business (KYB) services, as well as secure authentication through biometrics, emphasizing legitimacy and safety.

The company received non-equity assistance from Village Capital in 2023, underscoring recognition and support for its innovative approach to digital identity solutions.



ThisIsMe (South Africa)

CEO, Mark Chirnside

Founded in 2013, ThisisMe offerings include e-KYC (electronic Know Your Customer), automated digital onboarding, identity verification, facial biometric verification, risk assessment, information validation, and large-scale data processing.

ThisisMe has successfully raised $2.5 million in funding during its venture round in 2016, demonstrating investor confidence in its innovative approach to digital identity solutions.



iiDENTIFii (South Africa)

iiDENTIFii founder and CEO Gur Geva (Right)

iiDENTIFii specializes in advanced face authentication technology, serving clients across various sectors including banking, insurance, and mining throughout Africa.

iiDENTIFii’s solutions are trusted by major pan-African banks, insurers, and mining companies for both customer and employee authentication purposes. In a significant milestone, the company raised $15M during its Series A round in 2022. This funding was secured from notable investors including African investment company Arise, growth-stage private equity firm Sanari Capital, and seasoned US tech entrepreneur Bill Spruill.



IdentityPass (Nigeria)

IdentityPass is a data verification platform for government issued ID in Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Sierra Leone. It uses biometric authentication through fingerprint, facial, and iris recognitions. Service also includes activity monitoring and assessment of customers.

IdentityPass raised $360,000 in their pre-seed round in 2021. The startup went on to raise another $2.9 million from Y Combinator, MaC Venture Capital, and other investors in their seed round in 2022.




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