The Silicon Review
The goal of almost every business is to gain more customers and generate more revenue. The Internet enables businesses to find new customers, both domestic and international. While e-commerce has done this for decades, financial services institutions are still catching up. The rise of the FinTech sector over the past couple of years has been led by firms using the Internet to transform how they attract, interact, and validate potential clients.
However, financial organizations have a much higher risk for new customer acquisition and these risks have to be mitigated appropriately. Achieving a balance between global customer acquisition, risk assessment, and regulatory compliance, is difficult without the proper balance of strategy and technology.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, and incorporated in 2013, IdentityMind Global™ is the company who creates Digital Identities You Can Trust. IdentityMind’s SaaS platform allows companies to perform identity proofing, risk-based authentication, regulatory identification, and ultimately detect and prevent synthetic and stolen identities. Built-in transaction monitoring enables e-commerce fraud prevention, anti-money laundering (AML), and counter-terrorism financing (CTF).
The firm’s patented eDNA™ technology securely builds the digital identities and tracks the entities involved in each transaction – onboarding, account origination, money transfers, online payments – to build unique digital identity trust reputations. This reputation is anonymously shared among customers in IdentityMind’s Global Identity Network.
An Exclusive Interview with the CEO of IdentityMind, Garrett Gafke:
Q. Share the experience of your first product launch. Was it successful?
Yes, I’m happy to say that it was successful. We built our digital identity-based platform by not only pushing the envelope around how dependent our world was becoming on digital identities but also around the needs of the market.
We operated in stealth mode for several years building the platform and then successfully brought it to market in 2014. It was a very well defined, methodical process that we ran as our team is deeply experienced and had been very successful previously in launching products. Our launch was positively received and we immediately began adding new customers while adding new features to the platform. At the core of the platform, we have always been focused on building a trusted digital identity to inject integrity into digital marketplaces faced by the growing FinTech and digital transaction companies who were, and still are, struggling to handle the onslaught of unknown risks around know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) fraud, and transaction monitoring.
Q. What are the greatest attributes of IdentityMind?
There are a few key factors that make IdentityMind stand out: For one, it is our team and the culture which we strive to improve and protect. IdentityMind is the undisputed leader in trusted digital identities. Pioneering new markets and categories takes courage, risk-taking, passion, patience, and close teamwork. Reinforcing my statement above I cannot emphasize enough that it is the quality and commitment of our people who have built our brand. We believe we have assembled an exceptionally strong team drawn from security, payments, risk management, customer advocacy, and other industries.
Finally, being close to your clients is critical. Everyone at IdentityMind dives in and addresses the concerns of our clients which means that we are always available whenever they need us.
Q. Discuss the obstacles faced by the company in the initial years.
Since we pioneered a new technology and a new category, market value and funding was a struggle in the early days. Other key challenges included achieving growth and scale and building what is today one of the preeminent partner ecosystems. Today, we have over 35 technology partners fully integrated into our platform, creating greater value to our clients, including leading companies like Neustar, Experian, Twilio, Mitek, TeleSign, MaxMind, TowerData, ID Analytics, IDology, and many others.
Challenges predictably arise whenever you take a leadership or “first to market” position. Furthermore, anything around digital transactions and FinTech is global in nature and requires a great deal of understanding of the complexities around security, data, and the real-time nature of transactions. You are building a platform along with a surrounding infrastructure that can handle billions of transactions in a real-time manner.
Q. What is the future vision of IdentityMind?
We recently announced Version 2.0 of our award-winning, trusted digital identities platform for risk and compliance. The new platform is focused on advancing transaction monitoring for anti-money laundering (AML) through the introduction of a user-centric, risk-based approach, which regulators favor. It is designed to provide users with the industry’s most accurate and efficient AML compliance results through dynamic modeling, a transparent access framework, contextual identity analysis designed to help supercharge a company’s compliance efforts and redesigned UI. This is groundbreaking for the industry.
We also closed a series of funding last year that will be used to grow IdentityMind’s international markets (Asia, Latin America, and Europe), and expand sales and marketing. The funding is also being used to develop our new business unit specifically focused on providing KYC and AML solutions to address the regulatory and compliance requirements of the rapidly growing initial coin offering (ICO) and security token offering (STO) and cryptocurrency markets.
Belaud the Brilliance
Garrett Gafke, President, and CEO: Gafke is a successful entrepreneur and Fortune 500 executive. Prior to founding IdentityMind Global, Gafke served as president and CEO of Paymate, an innovative provider of payment and risk management services which was acquired by Flexigroup (FLX). Prior to Paymate, Gafke worked as advisor/interim CEO for several top-tier venture firms and private equity firms. A serial entrepreneur, Gafke has a proven track record of founding and growing great technology companies, having completed five M&A transactions, and two successful IPO’s. He is a popular industry speaker and writer, active angel investor, and board member of early-stage companies around Silicon Valley.