Berbix, an ID verification startup that was founded by former members of the Airbnb Trust and Safety team, today announced that it has raised a $9 million Series A round led by Mayfield. Existing investors, including Initialized Capital, Y Combinator and Fika Ventures, also participated in this round.
Founded in 2018, Berbix helps companies verify the identity of its users, with an emphasis on the cannabis industry, but it’s clearly not limited to this use case. Integrating the service to help online services scan and validate IDs only takes a few lines of code. In that respect, it’s not that different from payment services like Stripe, for example. Pricing starts at $99 per month with 100 included ID checks. Developers can choose a standard ID check (for $0.99 per check after the basic allotment runs out), as well as additional selfie and optional liveness checks, which ask users to show an emotion or move their head to ensure somebody isn’t simply trying to trick the system with a photo.
While ID verification may not be the first thing you think about in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company is actually seeing increasing demand for its solution now that in-person ID verification has become much harder. Berbix CEO and co-founder Steve Kirkham notes that the company now processes the same number of verifications in a day that it used to do monthly only a year ago.
“The inability to conduct traditional identity checks in person has forced organizations to move online for innumerable use cases,” he says in today’s announcement. “One example is the Family Independence Initiative, a nonprofit that trusts and invests in families’ own efforts to escape poverty. Our software has enabled them to eliminate fraudulent applications and focus on the families who have been economically affected by COVID.”
Berbix co-founder Eric Levine tells me the company plans to use the new funding to expand its team, especially the product and sales department. He also noted that the team is investing heavily in localization, as well as the technical foundation of the service. In addition, it’s obviously also investing in new technologies to detect new types of fraud. Scammers never sleep, after all.