Smile Identity

Smile Identity is the leading Know Your Customer (KYC) and Identity Verification provider for Africa.

Smile Identity helps companies scale rapidly across Africa by confirming the true identity of their users in real time, using any smartphone or computer.

Smile Identity was founded in 2016 by Mark Straub and William Bares. The company is headquartered in Oakland, California, with offices in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.


Smile Identity's technology is powered by proprietary Machine Learning algorithms designed specifically for African faces, and their products include Identity Verification, Digital KYC, User Onboarding, Document Verification, Liveness Checks, Face Verification, Anti-fraud Checks, and Identity Data Deduplication.


Smile Identity performs over 1 million identity checks every month across Africa and its software is used in banking, fintech, ride sharing, worker verification, public social welfare programs, and telecommunications.


Smile Identity's customers include payments companies like Paystack, Paga and Chippercash; neo-banks like Kudabank and Umba; traditional banks like Stanbic IBTC; cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Luno, and Paxful; and even supply-chain businesses like Twiga.


Smile Identity is backed by Costanoa Ventures, CRE Venture Capital, Khosla Impact, LocalGlobe, Intercept Ventures, ValueStream Ventures, and others. The company raised $7M in Series A round on Jul 08, 2021. This brings Smile Identity's total funding to $11.1M to date.



  • Year founded: 2016
  • Funding Info: $11.1M over 3 Rounds (Latest Funding Type: Series A)
  • Yearly Revenue: NA
  • Employee Size: 11-50
  • Business Valuation: NA
  • City/Town: Oakland
  • State: California
  • Country: United States
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