Youverify raises $1.5m in a seed round led by Orange Digital Ventures Africa (ODV) and Loftyinc Afropreneurs Fund.

Founded in 2018, Lagos-based startup, Youverify offers onboarding, address and identity verification services in Africa. Their solution allows organisations consolidate siloed data sources—identity, educational, credit history, facial image and location—in the secure onboarding of customers. Till date, Youverify has processed registrations and verification for some of the biggest banks, fintech and on-demand platforms in Nigeria.

ODV is Orange group’s dedicated €50 million investment initiative in the MEA region, Youverify becomes the fifth company to join their portfolio. While Loftyinc Afropreneurs Fund is a West African early-stage technology fund that has previously backed startups like Andela, Flutterwave and Reliance HMO.

The $1.5 million investment round will help Youverify improve its technology and accelerate business development in Nigeria and the continent, according to a statement from Orange Digital Ventures.

Speaking on the raise, Youverify's CEO and co-founder Gbenga Odegbami says: "This constitutes a unique opportunity for us to take further our ambition to simplify and secure our client’s internal processes, whether in the recruitment of staff, customer onboarding etc. Our ambition is to be the leading African player in verifying people and companies’ identities by making data protection and security the core of our proposal".

Our ambition is to be the leading African player in verifying people and companies' identities.
—Gbenga Odegbami, CEO, YouVerify

Telecom operators in Africa are at the core of digital identities, as they have more data on citizens than even the official national bodies. Take for instance, Nigeria. While there are over 100 million unique mobile subscribers coming from the telecom operators, Nigeria's NIMC is grappling with under 50 million citizens who have a National Identity Number (NIN).

For ODV's Investment Manager, Grégoire de Padirac, "Matters of security and access to financial or telecommunications services should never be at odds. Telecom operators like Orange are at the forefront of these transformation challenges. We are proud to support Youverify, which intends to resolve this triple objective of fostering financial inclusion, strengthening security and preserving user rights over their data".

Telecom operators like Orange are at the forefront of these transformation challenges.
—Grégoire de Padirac, Investment Manager, ODV

On his part, Idris Bello, Managing Partner, Loftyinc says, "We are excited to back Youverify in its quest. The investment fits into our thesis of backing strong local founding teams with a bias towards execution, leveraging technology in solving key problems across Africa's large markets. We have worked closely with Gbenga and his team over the past year and are excited to join ODV and others on this journey".

Other investors who participated in the seed round include Verakki (formerly, Accenture Nigeria), Outlierz Ventures, Village Capital and some angels.

N.B–Orange is a French multinational telecommunications corporation with 250+ million customers.

Gbenga Odegbami is the nephew of 67-year-old retired Nigerian footballer, Segun Odegbami.

Featured image credit: TechNext