Today, Smile Identity announced that it has acquired Appruve’s parent company (Inclusive Innovations, Inc.) and is actively fulfilling regulatory requirements to finalise the transaction for the affiliated entities in Africa. This strategic acquisition will expand Smile Identity’s footprint across Africa and solidify its position as the continent’s leading identity verification and digital KYC provider.
For the past six years, Smile Identity has built its business by combining document verification, face verification, biometrics, and data integrations into local trusted ID authorities to verify people’s true identities. Likewise, since 2018, Appruve has been using financial and identity data to detect fraud and automate compliance for businesses across Africa.
Both companies share a similar outlook on the problem of identity in Africa and a unified vision of the future success of Africa’s digital economy, which they believe will be propelled by the ethical use of digital identity data to provide opportunities for everyone to participate in the economy. With the widest ID coverage in the continent, their business merger will provide an unmatched solution to the market and enable millions more Africans to easily prove their true identity online.
Speaking on the acquisition, Mark Straub, CEO and co-founder of Smile Identity, says, “With this acquisition, we can strengthen our overall understanding of the direction of KYC in Africa. This includes our knowledge of the markets, our relationships with regulators, and our collaborations with compliance officers across the continent in both the public and private sectors.”
The acquisition of Appruve will result in an expanded suite of APIs, including mobile money, data, and anti-fraud checks, providing customers with a more comprehensive digital identity verification solution. The combined entity will cover over 1 billion Africans, the African diaspora, and 100 million African businesses, supporting over 230 documents and data types with integration options for every device and operating system combination in Africa.
“From a product standpoint, we’re excited to work with Smile Identity on fraud-related data sources, an area that Appruve has looked at extensively and built some infrastructure around. On the other hand, Smile Identity just rolled out an AML product, and when combined with these datasets and our shared presence across multiple markets, we will provide the best possible experience for all of our clients across Africa” – Paul Damalie, CEO and Founder, Appruve.
Furthermore, Smile Identity will deepen its presence in Ghana and expand into francophone Africa with a focus on Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal. With the ability to verify all local identity documents across Francophone Africa, Smile Identity is now even more relevant to its clients and to banks and financial services institutions serving West Africa.
For the next few weeks, Appruve and Smile Identity will work on completing the required administrative processes to conclude the acquisition of Appruve’s local entities. As a result, their customers can expect a steady transition process, an expanded product offering, a full suite of SDK and API integration methods, and global time zone customer support coverage. The combination expands Smile Identity’s lead in providing Africa’s best identity verification and KYC solutions.
About Smile Identity
Smile Identity helps companies scale rapidly across Africa by confirming the true identity of their users in real time, using any smartphone or computer. Our technology is powered by proprietary Machine Learning algorithms designed specifically for African faces and identities. Backed by top investors worldwide, Smile Identity enables the growth of tech ecosystems across the African continent while providing infrastructure to build trust online. To learn more about Smile ID, please visit our website at www.smileidentity.com. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Appruve is a pan-African identity verification platform that enables financial services to onboard and verify their customers, both individuals and businesses.