Melbourne startup Everproof, whose platform digitises and verifies accreditations, has raised $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by Reinventure and Allectus Capital as it looks to expand its offering into the financial services market.
Launched by Hugh Krantz, Nathan Merzvinskis, and Andreas Limberopoulos in 2016, the platform allows users to store their various accreditations and qualifications online and share their profile with any organisation they work with, with Everproof’s verification system constantly ensuring that these are up to date.
As Merzvinskis, CEO of Everproof, explained, the idea came while he and his cofounders were at university, when they each had a job that required them to keep various accreditations. With the statements or certificates of accreditation printed documents, the trio found they were easy to misplace and lose track of.
“We decided to build a digital solution that could verify this information at an employee’s point of entry and then create a continuous verified protocol for them to be using on an ongoing basis moving forward,” Merzvinskis said.
The startup found early traction in the sports and recreation space after developing a way to continuously verify Working With Children checks, working with clients including Cricket Australia, Swimming Victoria, and the Australian Childhood Foundation to verify 15,000 Working With Children checks each week across 1,000 organisations.
Here Everproof began to notice that individuals were taking their accreditations from one organisation to the other, or sharing their profile with various organisations.
“Not only did this streamline the onboarding process for staff and volunteers of our clients, but this level of adoption also meant that, if there were bad apples that existed in the industry, we could prevent them from moving from one organisation to the next,” Merzvinskis said.
“For us that really demonstrated the value of leveraging technology to ensure continuous verification of documents, not just as a once off like the transactional screening services on the market.”
The startup last year took part in the Startmate accelerator program in Melbourne, at the end of which they met the Reinventure team and, as Merzvinskis put it, “clicked with [them] straight away”.
Given expanding into the financial services sector was on Everproof’s roadmap, the team saw linking up with Reinventure and leveraging the fund’s knowledge around financial services, data, and security as a strong opportunity.
“We’ve seen a number of instances play out in the industry over the past few years dealing with misconduct around financial planners, and we saw an ability to offer an opportunity there as we are currently positioned to become the trusted industry standard to enable greater transparency and consumer protection,” Merzvinskis said.
“Also, the review into an open banking regime highlights the willingness of financial services institutions to collaborate in data sharing that puts the consumer first. We really want to extend that willingness to create a safe industry, not just a more competitive one, so that we can avoid instances of misconduct.”
Kara Frederick, partner at Reinventure, will be joining the startup’s board.
“According to IDC, the global market for digital identity verification is tens of billions of dollars. The financial services sector is leading this demand and Australia is among the fastest-growing regions,” she said.
“Compelling market dynamics and clients who are raving fans of the product, coupled with a cofounding team among the strongest of any we have backed, make us particularly excited about our investment in Everproof.”
As it looks to expand into the financial services market, Everproof is also exploring the US. While the size of the US market is attractive, Merzvinskis said the fact the US has searchable license databases provides a strong opportunity.
Image: the Everproof team. Source: Supplied; Simon Shiff.