Smile Identity has announced its acquisition of Appruve, the move is set to expand Smile Identity’s footprint across Africa and consolidate its position as a top provider of digital KYC and identity verification solutions.
Smile Identity (Smile), a leading African KYC compliance and ID verification firm, has acquired Inclusive Innovations, the parent company of Appruve, a Ghanaian developer of identity verification software, in a deal reportedly worth “not more than USD 20 million,” with a large proportion in stock. The acquisition will expand Smile Identity’s reach across Africa and reinforce its position as the leading identity verification and digital KYC provider on the continent.
The need for robust KYC and identity verification processes
As fintech services continue to grow across different African markets, the need for robust KYC and identity verification processes has become increasingly important. This is due to the rising incidence of fraud challenges and stricter regulatory requirements. The acquisition of Appruve will help Smile Identity to address these challenges by providing a comprehensive suite of APIs that include mobile money, data, and anti-fraud checks.
Smile Identity: A major player
Founded in 2017, Smile is a significant player in Africa’s ID verification and KYC compliance industry. The company has combined document verification, face verification, biometrics, and data integrations into local trusted ID authorities to verify people’s identities. It has also developed use cases for AML checks, customer onboarding, and fraud prevention. With venture capital investment of more than USD 30 million, Smile has attracted backing from investors such as Costanoa Ventures, Future Africa, and Norrsken22.
Appruve’s localized data sets and its presence in Francophone Africa
Appruve is a four-year-old startup that provides an API for verifying user identity, fraud detection, and digital documentation. The company focuses primarily on new datasets that complement traditional government data such as international passports and national IDs. Its capabilities include analyzing fraud data from global money networks, verification of mobile money financial statements, and blocklist data from various banks and fintechs.
Appruve will help Smile Identity to expand its base-level product across Africa to include the Francophone market, with a focus on Ivory Coast and Senegal.