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Innovate UK backs enterprise verification startup Umazi in $1m pre-seed round

Umazi founder

Umazi, a London-based startup automating enterprise identity verification, has closed a $1m (£730,000) pre-seed funding round from government-backed Innovate UK and angel investors.

The funding, shared exclusively with UKTN, will be used for product development and market growth in the UK, South Africa and Mauritius.

Umazi’s platform uses distributed ledger technology – a decentralised database technology similar to blockchain – to digitally verify corporate identities.

A network of regulated entities verifies a client’s identity, with that process added to an open-source permissioned blockchain platform. This allows verified identities and credentials to be shared with other organisations, with the goal of helping businesses avoid high-risk clients.

Founded in 2019 by Cindy van Niekerk, Umazi is aiming to “set the global standard for cross-industry digital identity and compliance”.

The startup is currently in the Founders Factory accelerator programme, which has worked with around 200 startups of different sizes.

Umazi has been using its enterprise ID verification technology with insurance firm Aviva to explore ways to automate the onboarding of its enterprise suppliers.

It has also signed deals with Artesian: DueDil, ComplyAdvantage and African law firm Webber Wentzel. Umazi currently has seven employees.

“It’s astonishing that enterprise due diligence is still such a costly, time-consuming exercise that is repeated over and over again,” said Cindy van Niekerk, founder and CEO of Umazi. “It is clear due diligence is ripe for tech disruption and we are the first and only tech platform to take on the challenge. With new funds in the bank and global partnerships in place, we’re already demonstrating how Umazi brings fuss-free digital due-diligence.”

The regtech firm told UKTN that it is “likely” to raise a seed funding round in “early 2022”.