The Innovators: Trulioo establishes trust in a socially distanced, digital-first world

The company can verify the identities of five billion people in 200 countries.

Credit: Trulioo

Trulioo’s identity verification service spans 200 countries

The company can verify the identities of five billion people in 200 countries

To say the least, Trulioo had already carved out a niche before COVID-19 kicked its business up a notch. Launched in 2011, the Vancouver-based identity verification specialist covers five billion people and 330 million businesses in roughly 200 nations. By accessing and aggregating hundreds of data sources, Trulioo’s GlobalGateway app lets users quickly and securely check an identity, says CEO Steve Munford. “We’re the only ones that not only do it on a global basis but allow people to serve it up through a single API.”

The company, whose investors include American Express and Goldman Sachs Group, serves businesses large and small in industries from banking to online gambling to e-commerce and retail. Besides helping clients combat fraud and comply with anti-money-laundering and other regulations, Trulioo establishes trust between people unable to meet in person, says Munford, who took over as CEO last spring from co-founder Stephen Ufford, now chair.

The firm had a good 2020, making a repeat showing on the Fintech 250 list of the industry’s fastest-growing startups and returning to CNBC‘s Disruptor 50 ranking of innovators. Trulioo, which expanded its Vancouver staff from 125 to about 170 last year, has seen annual revenue keep climbing by well over 100 percent during the pandemic. It’s also boosting its European presence through a Dublin office and making key hires in the U.S., Munford says.

Two main trends are driving that growth. First, COVID has accelerated the movement of business processes online on a worldwide scale. “Companies are digital-first,” Munford says, “and they want to do it across multiple countries.” Second, more people are trading at home: “They’re opening up online stock accounts, they’re trading cryptocurrencies, and all that is providing tailwinds to the industries that we support.”

Asked what’s next, Munford says Trulioo is seeing demand for more sophisticated identity offerings. In response, it now does verification for identification documents, allowing customers to authenticate someone’s ID by using image capture or facial recognition. “There’s a bunch of other new techniques to help build certainty and reduce fraud and reduce risk that we’re adding into our product to get even better at what we do,” Munford says.