Smile Identity acquires Appruve to bolster identity verification in Africa

Smile Identity acquires Appruve to bolster identity verification in Africa

Smile Identity, a provider of identity verification in Africa, has acquired the parent company of Appruve, which helps firms use financial and identity data for detect fraud.

With this acquisition, Smile Identity hopes to expand its footprint across Africa and bolster its position in the identity verification and digital KYC space.

By combining with Appruve, Smile Identity gains an expanded suite of APIs, including mobile money, data and anti-fraud checks, allowing it to offer a more comprehensive digital identity verification solution. Additionally, it will cover over one billion Africans, the African diaspora and 100 million African businesses. It also supports over 230 documents and data types, with integration options for every device and operating system combination in Africa.

Smile Identity stated that it has spent the past six years combining document verification, face verification, biometrics, and data integrations into local trusted ID authorities to verify people’s true identities.

Speaking on the acquisition, Smile Identity CEO Mark Straub said, “With this acquisition, we can strengthen our overall understanding of the direction of KYC in Africa. This includes our knowledge of the markets, our relationships with regulators, and our collaborations with compliance officers across the continent in both the public and private sectors.”

This acquisition will also help Smile Identity bolster its presence in Ghana and expand into francophone Africa, focusing on Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal. It added that with the ability to verify all local identity documents across Francophone Africa, it becomes more relevant to clients, banks and financial services institutions serving West Africa.

Appruve CEO and founder Paul Damalie added, “From a product standpoint, we’re excited to work with Smile Identity on fraud-related data sources, an area that Appruve has looked at extensively and built some infrastructure around.

“On the other hand, Smile Identity just rolled out an AML product, and when combined with these datasets and our shared presence across multiple markets, we will provide the best possible experience for all of our clients across Africa.”

Earlier in the year, RegTech firm Flagright partnered with Kenyan digital FinTech Fingo Africa to enhance the latter’s AML compliance and fraud protection capabilities.

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