Blockchain ID checks: How this startup is now verifying identities online

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A year ago, online-based ID verification startup Veriff was a company of 18 people. Today, the headcount is over 300, and it helps verify the identities of individuals ranging from Berlin public transportation passengers to Blockchain users.

It has been a busy year for Kaarel Kotkas, the now 25-year-old co-founder and CEO of online ID verification startup Veriff.

Last summer, the company raised $7.7m in Series A funding led by Mosaic Ventures. TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and Hollywood actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher were also among the backers.

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This funding has helped Veriff grow rapidly and hire hundreds of new employees, making it one of the most international companies in Estonia.

“About 40% of our team of 300-plus people comes from abroad. We have people from over 40 different citizenships. The largest communities are from Brazil, the US, Georgia, Turkey, Niger, and Russia,” Kotkas tells ZDNet, adding that one in 10 employees working for the startup has relocated to Estonia.

This summer the company landed its first big international client, Berlin public transportation company BVG.

BVG is using Veriff to verify people’s identities in its mobility app Jelbi. The app covers Berlin’s entire public transportation system, scooters, bikes, ride-hailing, and car sharing, as well as traditional taxis.

“Veriff comes in when a person wants to use a Jelbi service that requires identity verification and driver’s license validation,” he said.

At the end of August, Veriff had another big…

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