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London-based digital ID startup cheqd secures £1.9M funding

cheqd

A software company headquartered in London, cheqd is a startup whose technology could drive widespread uptake of digital IDs. Now, it has secured a $2.6 million (nearly £1.9 million) investment to support the launch of its product later this year.

The investment round was led by Outlier Ventures, Evernym, TitanBlock, Torque, 3GR and a consortium of private investors. This round comes after the initial fundraising it secured in March this year and brings the total raised by the company to $3.3 million (£2.4 million).

Ankur Banerjee, the CTO said: “Covid accelerated uptake of digital technology but the question is, how do you prove your identity and build trust in an online world? Digital IDs give people control over their credentials which makes it easier and cheaper to verify their identity which makes banking and other services more accessible. However until now uptake of digital IDs has been limited because there is no business model that allows providers to charge for creating them. cheqd makes this possible for the first time and could act as a catalyst to encourage wider uptake.”

Fraser Edwards, CEO at cheqd, added: “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.”

Jamie Burke, CEO at Outlier Ventures, added: “You can’t have Web 3.0 without a form of decentralised identity that works at scale and has a business model for network participants hardcoded into it. That’s why we firmly believe in cheqd’s mission as they enable SSI.”

Digital ID is picking up

cheqd’s software enables individuals to have their own 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 is blockchain enabled and builds a secure network to enable individuals and organisations to take full control of their personal data using blockchain. The technology has been developed by a team led by Fraser Edwards and Ankur Banerjee. It is unique in that it not only enables organisations to create a digital ID, but also incorporates a payment system so they can charge users a fee to cover the cost, encouraging wider uptake.

Currently, the business employs a team of eight and is on course to launch its first product later this year. It will be aimed at tech firms developing digital ID solutions, banks, universities, hospitals or other bodies that issue credentials and may want to offer them in digital ID format.