OCR Labs raises EUR12.5m Series A to launch its Digital ID verification solution in the UK

OCR Labs has announced a EUR12.5 million Series A round led by Turkish investors the Oyak Group, to expand its services and team to the UK and Turkish markets. The Australian founded company is viewed as a world leader in the digital ID verification space, solving major challenges including identity fraud and regulatory compliance, using its proprietary technology. 

OCR Labs Founders Daniel Aiello and Matthew Adams wanted to create a product that streamlined customer onboarding whilst protecting organisations against the increasing risk of fraud and identity theft. They wanted to build a fully automated process, removing the need for people in the process, to speed up verification and help conversion. 

Built on six years of research and development and the last three in the market, OCR Labs proprietary technology is an accredited, biometric solution that provides customers with a fast and frictionless digital identity verification experience. It uses five proprietary technologies in one solution, including identity document optical character recognition (OCR), document fraud assessment, liveness detection, video fraud assessment, and face matching. The end-to-end solution supports Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations and improves customer conversion while reducing fraud. The company has more privacy certificates than AWS and Google Workspaces. 

OCR Labs launched in Australia and New Zealand in 2018 and has been adopted by organisations both in highly-regulated industries such as banking, finance, insurance and government, as well as commercial entities including telco, ecommerce and real estate. The company has experienced triple digit growth in Australia since launch. 

Daniel Aiello, Co-Founder and CPO of OCR Labs, comments: “The need for digital verification is growing exponentially. This past year we’ve seen more demand from new sectors as they try to navigate the pandemic and an inability to operate in-person. We believe it has accelerated what needed to happen. No-one wants to spend hours trying to prove who they are, whether it’s for a job or for a bank account, and we also want to know we’re protected against identity theft and fraud. Digital ID verification has a key role to play, but this year we’ve also seen the limitations if hybrid models are used. People are a barrier and a risk, but fully automated technology can have a huge impact on many industries and privacy. OCR Labs is built to be secure, frictionless and fast, and capable of recognising ID documents the world over.” 

Aiello continues: “We’re incredibly excited to expand our team in the UK and Turkey, collaborating with our new investors, to help more enterprises solve the problem of identity verification using our solution.” 

The ID verification market is expected to be worth USD15.8 billion by 2025. In the UK, the government’s Digital Identity Strategy Board announced new principles in September 2020 to boost secure use of digital identity to be used across the country. Reports show that the digital identity market could add a minimum of three percent to UK GDP. 

OCR Labs are already working with Reed Screening, part of the world’s largest family run recruitment business REED to address the need to verify candidates identities during COVID. The UK Government plans to return to physical checks on June 21st but due to the benefits of checking remotely companies are pressing for long term change to allow digital checks. 

The Series A investment from Oyak Group will be used to invest in technology innovation in order to scale OCR Labs into the UK and Turkish markets and grow its team in both London and Istanbul. The company already has a growing team in the UK where they have established their International HQ, and plans to double their presence this year.  

Russ Cohn has been appointed General Manager of International Operations having previously been a key early member of the Google UK leadership team. OCR Labs will initially expand further into EMEA and is also exploring new markets around the world. The company continues to be supported by Halkin Ventures who invested in its seed round.  

Adiel Jacobs, Director of Halkin Ventures, adds: “We are very excited to support the growth of OCR Labs by helping them to expand their industry leading digital identity verification solutions internationally, starting in the UK and Turkey. With regulatory frameworks and customer onboarding advancing in both traditional and the non-traditional markets, we foresee the adoption of fully automated identity verification as a game changer for user experience and business growth. We believe our collaboration with OCR Labs will be a crucial step in revolutionising remote identity verification.” 

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