Startup Of the Week: Mark ID
This week Startup Lithuania presents a Lithuanian fintech startup – Mark ID. Can you imagine using your camera device for identity verification or e-signature gateway? In this case, Mark ID brings face recognition and document verification technologies into another level. Read the whole interview with Mark ID team and get to know more about the product powered by machine learning!
So what is Mark ID? How does it work?
Mark ID is a global universal identity verification platform powered by machine learning as well as Identity verification and e-signature gateway for the Baltic States and beyond. We help companies to identify their customers, fight fraud, reduce costs and meet KYC, GDPR and AML compliance and regulation requirements as well as enable digital channels.
Our main product is the universal face recognition and document verification tool that can work on any device with a camera. The user takes a selfie or a short video of their face as well as the government-issued ID. Our technology then assesses their facial biometrics, creates a vector map of the face, evaluates if it matches the person on the provided ID and checks whether the document is valid and genuine.
Depending on the location, we can also offer other local identity verification and e-Signature solutions via the same integration.
What are your competitors and competitive advantages?
Our first competitive advantage would be the hybrid approach for the face recognition technology that combines AI and human KYC experts for maximum accuracy, security, and conversion rate. On top of that, we are the only service provider in the industry that offers professional liability insurance against regulator claims.
Our second competitive advantage would be that currently, we are the only service provider in the market offering all possible identification and authentication methods via 1 API in the Baltic Region, we even support physical identifications in all the cities in the Baltics. Our long-term vision is to become a gateway for all the local identification, authentication and e-Signature solutions in the EU region.
And finally, we provide a fair pricing model, which means we do not charge any connection or monthly subscription fees. Just pay for only what you use each month, with no upfront commitments.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
We have seen that the demand for remote customer onboarding was growing since more and more new Fintech’s were founded as well as traditional financial institutions going digital. At the same time, new regulations were launching in Lithuania and European Union following AML5. Therefore, we decided that it would be perfect timing to introduce our solution to the market.
We have also noticed, that depending on the country there are several local identity verification solutions in the market. Therefore, the typical Fintech company needs to have 1 to 3 different remote identification integrations like face recognition, e-Signature, physical identification, etc. and the companies were looking for the remote identification solution in general to combine them all. Therefore, the idea was born to become an identity verification gateway, that could provide several different local identification methods via 1 single integration point.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
The product was launched and tested in late 2017/early 2018. The company was launched in 2019Q1. The product was fully tested and developed for two years with a number of customers before the official launch. A lot of money was invested in developing and building the core system. And having a strong main base is key to further development and product expansion. Therefore now, we are able to easily add new features and integrations.
The list is quite big, but mainly financial institutions, banks, FinTech’s, PSP’s, crypto exchangers, online trading and sharing economy platforms, etc. We are mainly focusing on the companies with established legal entities in the EU since it is our home market, however, we are able to serve any region worldwide.
What are the main challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming them?
The most significant risk is the legal part because there is no place for mistakes. However, we are very fortunate that one of our investors is a legal company and they help us with all the possible resources to provide this service bulletproof.
How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?
We have raised 200 000€ at the end of last year. We were funded by ŽŪB IISUTIB KŪB „Verslo angelų fondas II“, LitBAN company UAB „EFTP Vol.2“, Dutch startup accelerator company “Crosspring B.V.” and couple of private investors. We might be looking for another round of investment in around a year or two to fuel further product development and expansion.
Please introduce your founders, your core team and your broader team?
We have 3 main people in our core team. It’s our CEO – Nerijus Rimdžius, Head of Sales and Business Development – Giedrius Arbačiauskas and our CTO and Technical advisor – Markas Krasovskis. All three core team members have experience in different fields including FinTechs, banking, financial industry, international business development, and SaaS. Besides a core team, we have a strong advisory board.
Currently, Mark ID team consists of 10 people, but we are looking to further expand our sales, development and support teams.
How has business been so far? Could you share some numbers to illustrate this (users, sales, etc)?
So far, we are approaching 100 000 face recognition identifications. On average our automated face identification decision is provided within 10s, while manual re-check by our human KYC expert takes 163s.
Future plans, ambitions? Simply speaking – what’s next?
Our long term vision, besides being global face recognition service provider, is to also integrate all the European local identity verification services into our solution and become an identity verification gateway for the whole EU region, so our customers could access all the local identification, authentication and e-Signature solutions with one single integration.
We would also like to use this opportunity and present our new campaign dedicated to helping startups, called Startup 555. We understand that the early start and low expenses are crucial for startups, therefore we are here to help. Besides pay, as you go pricing model with no upfront commitments, we are giving away the first 555 face identifications for startups free of charge with no strings attached! This offer is limited to the first 55 startups and valid for a maximum of 6 months after signing the contract.
Thank you for the answers!
Find out more interviews with Lithuanian startups here.