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Oxford-based student startup Onfido acquired by Entrust for its AI identity verification tech

Onfido team
Picture credits: Onfido

Entrust, a renowned company in trusted payments, identities, and data security, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Onfido, a UK-based digital identity verification startup. With this completed acquisition, Entrust now provides the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of AI-powered, identity-centric security solutions. However, terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

This purchase is touted to be the highest value return on investment for a student-led startup for the University of Oxford. The university proceeds will support and fund the creation of more companies and entrepreneurship programmes at Oxford.

Entrust will service a range of business requirements by leveraging Onfido’s identity verification solutions across its portfolio, including its biometrics, AI/machine learning, and no-code orchestration capabilities. Capabilities include automated security defenses, with a layered, enhanced approach to fraud detection, using AI developed in-house to verify genuine identities. 

With its updated and new solutions, organisations can turn to Entrust to secure digital-first experiences for customers, citizens, and their workforces, while complying with global regulations and reducing fraud. 

”Onfido has the world’s best-in-class ID verification team, capabilities, and tech stack and it’s thanks to entrepreneurial schemes like this one from Oxford University Innovation that the founders were able to get their start. We welcome the continued support that Oxford is providing the UK to help build a vibrant environment for tech growth and Entrust is proud to be a part of this, with tech centres in Cambridge and now in London with Onfido,” said Todd Wilkinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entrust Corp.

AI-powered identity verification 

Created by students at the University of Oxford – Husayn Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy, and Ruhul Amin, Onfido makes it easy for people to access services by digitally verifying them using its Real Identity Platform. The platform allows businesses to tailor verification methods to individual user and market needs in a no-code, orchestration layer, combining the right mix of document and biometric verifications, trusted data sources, and passive fraud signals to meet their risk, friction, and regulatory requirements. 

Onfido’s cloud-based, AI-powered identity verification technology helps millions access digital services every week from billion-dollar institutions to hyper-growth startups. Its customers joining a new digital bank or payments app use Onfido’s technology during the signup process. It is also used to verify a driving licence or passport with a smartphone camera. 

”In 2012, at 22 years old, building a new way to verify identities online felt like a moonshot. Having support from Oxford Innovation’s first incubator provided a crucial launchpad – not only for the company but for our confidence. Oxford’s leap of faith into a nascent idea, was rocket fuel and I am incredibly grateful to Oxford University and the entire ecosystem for supporting our journey. Onfido’s exit demonstrates the powerful influence academic institutions hold in delivering outsized local and global impact. It is rewarding knowing that our exit’s returns are being reinvested by Oxford into supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs,” said Husayn Kassai, co-founder and former CEO at Onfido.

“Onfido has grown from a student startup into a 500-strong team with more than £140 million of revenue and customers worldwide. With its acquisition by Entrust, Onfido has shown that student-led companies can become phenomenally successful, inspiring a new generation of students, staff, and investors to cultivate our world-class innovation ecosystem in Oxford,” said Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation, the University of Oxford.

”We are proud to have supported the Onfido team through Oxford’s earliest Incubator programme and to see the tremendous success of one of our first startups. The return received by OUI will be reinvested in our Incubator programme to provide more opportunities for our student and staff entrepreneurs to train, collaborate and create companies which deliver game-changing technology,” said Mairi Gibbs, CEO of Oxford University Innovation.

“It is impressive to see how a modest investment from the Oxford Seed Fund has helped to catapult an idea from a student startup to a world-leading business. Onfido was conceptualised at Oxford and is now delivering impact on an international scale. We are privileged to have played an important role in their journey. Onfido’s success, and the return on our investment, will help us continue to support the most exciting start-ups and entrepreneurs from across the world, through our Entrepreneurship Centre, boosting economies, creating jobs and driving innovation,“ said Soumitra Dutta, Dean of Saïd Business School, the University of Oxford.

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