How African Artificial Intelligence Tech Startups are Gaining Traction
Tech startups in Africa are playing a huge role in bringing the continent up to speed with several aspects of global tech trends, and artificial intelligence (AI) is one such aspect. We’ve seen AI used by the likes of Aerobotics in agriculture; DataProphet in manufacturing, Kudi in finance, and Clevva in sales.
As Africa continues to leapfrog its adoption of technologies, questions continue to arise around identity and how the continent will accelerate its documentation of citizens. Looks like a job for AI, as Nigerian ID verification and KYC compliance startup Smile Identity is leveraging this smart tech to bring Africans into the fold.
With a recently secured $7 million series A funding, Smart Identity looks to advance its mission making it easy for Africans to prove their identity online, and help businesses automate identity verification and onboarding of clients, as well as combat fraud.
Disrupt Africa reports Smile Identity has developed a platform that combines ID validation with patented face verification and liveness checks to allow non-intrusive, consent-based access, and financial inclusion. Its software is utilised in banking, fintech, ride-sharing, worker verification, governmental social assistance programmes, and telecommunications, and it performs over one million identification checks each month across Africa.
The funding was led by Costanoa Ventures and the pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital, with participation from LocalGlobe, Intercept Ventures, Future Africa, and Africa-focused angel investors.
“We believe anyone should be able to prove their identity easily, anywhere in the world and that access to a modern digital lifestyle should not depend on the origin of your ID card or IP address,” said Mark Straub, co-founder and CEO of Smile Identity.
With operations in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda, Smile Identity plans to reach more countries.
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