Smile Identity acquires Inclusive Innovations in its Africa expansion drive

Pan-African cyber security company Smile Identity has announced the acquisition of Inclusive Innovations, the parent comp of Appruve, a company that uses images and video to onboard and verify documents.

Smile Identity has established itself as an authority in identity verification and using advanced technologies to counter cyber attacks.

The company launched in 2017 has built its business by combining document verification, face verification, biometrics, and data integrations into local trusted ID authorities to verify people’s true identities and make Know Your Customer(KYC) processes seamless.

On the other hand, since 2018, Appruve has been using financial and identity data to detect fraud and automate compliance for businesses across Africa.

Over the last 18 months, Appruve has been analyzing fraud data from global money networks, verification of mobile money financial statements, and blocklist data from various banks and fintechs.

The startup has received less than $500,000 in venture capital funding since its inception as well as $450,000 in grant money from DFS Lab through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google’s launchpad studio accelerator, and others.

Mark Straub, CEO and co-founder of Smile Identity says, “With this acquisition, we can strengthen our overall understanding of the direction of KYC in Africa. This includes our knowledge of the markets, our relationships with regulators, and our collaborations with compliance officers across the continent in both the public and private sectors.”

Smile Identity has also revealed it will deepen its presence in Ghana and expand into francophone Africa with a focus on Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal. With the ability to verify all local identity documents across Francophone Africa, Smile Identity is now even more relevant to its clients and to banks and financial services institutions serving West Africa.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to

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