The identity verification market has been heating up for some time, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only fueled demand as more people deal online.
Persona, a business that seeks to create a personalized identity verification experience “for any use case,” wants to stand out in an increasingly crowded market. In the form of a $50 million Series B fundraising round, investors are betting on the San Francisco-based company’s ability to help organizations tailor the identity verification process — and beyond — through its no-code platform.
Index Ventures led the funding, which also included current backer Coatue Management. Persona raised $17.5 million in Series A financing in late January 2020. The corporation refused to share the valuation of the new round.
Businesses and organizations can gain access to Persona’s platform via an API, which allows them to use several papers, ranging from government-issued IDs to biometrics, to verify that clients are who they claim to be. The startup hopes to make it easier for organizations to use more secure ways based on third-party documentation, real-time evaluation such as live selfie checks, and artificial intelligence to verify people.
Persona’s platform also collects passive data such as a user’s device, location, and behavioral signals to create a more comprehensive picture of a user’s risk profile. Depending on the customer’s demands, it provides a low and no-code option.
The company’s momentum can be seen in its growth figures. According to co-founder and CEO Rick Song, who could not disclose precise sales figures, the startup’s revenue has increased “more than tenfold” while its customer base has increased “fivefold” in the last year. Persona’s workforce has more than tripled to slightly over 50 workers.
As a result, Song feels that growth is directly related to Persona’s ability to assist enterprises with “unusual” use cases using a SaaS platform that requires little to no coding and less heavy lifting from their engineering teams. Its ultimate purpose is to assist organizations in deterring fraud, staying compliant, and building trust and safety while making it easier for them to personalize the verification process to their specific needs. Square, Robinhood, Sonder, Brex, Udemy, Gusto, BlockFi, and AngelList are among the companies that have used the service.
“The identity verification and management method your business requires will be radically different if you’re a travel company validating passengers versus a delivery service onboarding new couriers versus a crypto company allowing access to user cash,” Song noted. “Even organizations in the same industry can differentiate themselves by tailoring the identity verification experience to each customer.”
Another feature that, according to Song, distinguishes Persona is its capacity to assist clients beyond the sign-on and verification procedure.
According to Song, much of the company’s growth last year came from existing clients discovering new use cases within the platform and new customers signing on.
Index Ventures Partner Mark Goldberg, who will join Persona’s board as part of the funding, was impressed by the number of companies in Index’s portfolio that praised Persona.
“We began to see very rapid adoption of Persona within the Index portfolio, and there was a sense of a strong and extremely user-friendly product that hadn’t existed in the market previously.”
According to Goldberg, its personalization features and building block-based approach appeal to a broader range of consumers.
“The reality is that there are so many ways on the internet to check whether a person is who they say they are or not, and if you allow people to do that, people will abuse you.”flexibility to create the correct path to get to a yes or no, you can easily get to a much better outcome,” he added. “We heard that the use cases were not off the shelf, which I believe has resonated in a time when people want and demand the opportunity to personalize.”
Persona intends to use its additional financing to double its team size by the end of the year to support its growth and continue developing the business.