cheqd raises $2.6 million to drive the uptake of digital IDs
By Joy Dumasia
cheqd, a start-up whose technology could drive widespread uptake of digital IDs, has secured a $2.6m (£1.9m) investment to support the launch of its product later this year. The latest funding round was backed by Outlier Ventures, Evernym, TitanBlock, Torque, 3GR and a consortium of private investors. It follows their initial investment in March this year and brings the total raised by the company to $3.3m (£2.4m).
cheqd’s software enables individuals to have the digital ID that they can store on their mobile phone and verify their identity or information such as their qualifications, vaccine status or credit history. Like a passport or driving licence, it would be signed by a trusted authority and accepted as proof of status by other organisations without the need to check the individual’s details on a central database.
The technology, based on blockchain, has been developed by a team led by Fraser Edwards and Ankur Banerjee. It is unique in that it enables organisations to create a digital ID and incorporate a payment system to charge users a fee to cover the cost, encouraging wider uptake. So, for example, a bank that had carried out background checks on a new customer could provide them with a digital ID that they could use at other banks to avoid repeating the process.
Founders Fraser and Ankur, who met while working as analysts at Accenture in London, have spent the past seven years managing emerging technology projects and were selected to participate in Outlier Ventures’ Base Camp in spring 2021. The business currently employs a team of eight and is on course to launch its first product later this year.
Fraser Edwards, CEO at cheqd, said: “cheqd aims to build the trusted data economy to give people and organisations back their privacy and control of their data. We would like to thank all the investors who share our vision and brought us this far. The strong interest we have had from investors signals that the market is ripe, and there is a big demand to address the data security, privacy and trust issues linked to our identities.”