APLYiD raises $7m in Series A led by UK’s Octopus Ventures
By Leandra Monteiro
Amidst spiking online fraud and increasingly stringent AML regulation, New Zealand’s APLYiD has received $7m NZD in investment to take its customer onboarding software around the world.
The funding round was led by Octopus Ventures, a London based VC firm. It coincides with the official opening of APLYiD’s UK office in October; the startup’s first foray outside of Australia and New Zealand. The partnership with Octopus will fuel APLYiD’s ambition to help more businesses around the world stay compliant, while providing a seamless customer onboarding experience.
Over the course of the pandemic, APLYiD has seen first-hand how organisations around the world have been swept up in the fast-moving currents of KYC compliance, the threat of fraud, and increased customer expectations.
“Particularly for SMEs without the means to build their own tech from scratch, swimming between these moving flags has been an impossible task on their own. The flexibility of our technology means we can offer smaller organisations an ‘out of the box’ solution to help them immediately, or we can provide a more bespoke technology, depending on what an organisation needs. This kind of adaptability is essential for customer needs as diverse as law firms meeting their AML requirements, rental car companies stamping out fraud, or remittance services speeding up their onboarding,” said Russell Smith, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of APLYiD.
With soaring demand for online services during Australia and New Zealand’s recent lockdown conditions, both nations have also seen an uptick in digital fraud. For many organisations, APLYiD has become an important shield against the barrage of increasingly sophisticated fraudsters.
The Series A injection has allowed APLYiD to go on a hiring spree for some key personnel throughout New Zealand and the UK. This includes former Credit Safe Sales Director, Marc Williams, who will lead the London team of eight as it supports expansion throughout the UK market, and James Brown, previously GM of Fintech NZ, who has taken on a role as the Director of Global Partnerships.
“Marc has a deep understanding of the problems that UK organisations are facing within the digital identity market and is excited to bring new jobs and opportunities locally through APLYiD. Similarly, we’ve long been impressed by the industry leadership James Brown has shown in New Zealand’s emerging fintech industry as well as his vast global networks across both industry and Government. His insights and vision will be integral as we continue bringing our products to the world,” said Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder, Claudia Smith.
Recognising how essential these services have become in this digital-first environment, new-entrant Australian VC Tribe Global Ventures also joined the funding round, the firm’s foundational investment. Tribe Global Ventures has been established to support Australian and New Zealand high growth companies successfully execute global expansion and is excited about their first investment to support APLYiD to scale.
Edward Keelan, investor at Octopus Ventures said, “In the last two years we have seen a rapid acceleration in the need for digital onboarding solutions, as more of our lives move online. At the same time, regulators are demanding more robust systems to ensure AML and KYC compliance, while customers expect a quick and easy experience. That’s where we see a huge opportunity for APLYiD, which has built an end-to-end digital identity verification process that meets stringent regulation, but also provides a super smooth user journey with instant results. Russell and Claudia make a formidable team with huge depth of experience in the field and we are excited to support them in their next stage of growth.”
“This is also our first investment in a New Zealand headquartered business, which I think reflects the growing number of exciting technology companies the country is now starting to produce, with a similar story in Australia. We’re looking closely at opportunities in both markets, especially given the expertise we can offer companies looking to establish a presence in the UK and expand into Europe and North America”
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