It all started with a Big Idea to make the Internet safer: how to assure that an online user is the right person, a real person and that they are genuinely present right now (and not a criminal or machine-driven attack). Here’s the iProov story so far. Follow on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up to date on iProov’s biometric authentication developments.
2012 is an exciting year for London: iProov files the core patent for its big idea – Genuine Presence Assurance – and 900 million people watch the Olympic torch journey up the Thames by speedboat. With three spare time staff and no money, iProov is starting a journey of its own.
Innovate UK (the UK government’s innovation agency, known at the time as the Technology Strategy Board) gets behind the big idea. 2013 sees iProov win its first Innovate UK grant to get going. Dominic Forrest, a man used to building technology for billions of transactions, arrives as CTO to build scalable technology. The core team is almost assembled, now full-time, in borrowed office space.
iProov builds its first full prototype thanks to Innovate UK grants. Two important new arrivals are welcomed: Dr Andrew Newell and machine learning. The core team is now complete and based on the South Bank in London. iProov also gets its first commercial opportunity with the BBC.
Things start to happen at iProov. The first patent is granted. iProov’s credibility as a leading London technology start-up grows as leading London PE firm, JRJ Group, becomes its first external investor and a number of banks start to show interest in Genuine Presence Assurance. The second patent is granted. iProov now has 13 staff.
2016 is a big year. iProov makes its first sale to the UK tax authority, HMRC, and launches the world’s first deep-learning face matching service (DELFINA). Two important awards are won. The feasibility proof for combining Genuine Presence Assurance with passports for onboarding is delivered. iProov now has 14 staff.
iProov is winning business with ING, Rabobank and DNB, becoming a leading London fintech. The certifications continue, first with ISO27001 and then through passing the Department of Homeland Security’s rigorous testing. More awards arrive, from the UK National Cybersecurity Centre, Citi and SINET. The first public demo of iProov with passports is completed. iProov still has 14 staff.
It’s a big moment in iProov history, becoming the first non-US supplier to win a Department of Homeland Security contract. iProov is also chosen to support the UK Home Office EU Settled Status scheme and begins work with a major partner in South Africa. More fintech prizes are won, including Finovate Best of Show. The National Physical Laboratory in the UK says iProov is “state of the art”. There are now 23 iProov staff.
iProov wins its 18th grant from Innovate UK. Further equity finance is raised, again led by JRJ Group. iProov is appointed a Microsoft Co-Sell Partner, and over 2.5m people iProov themselves worldwide. There are now 45 iProovers. They pack up their desks and leave the leaky roofed office behind to move to new offices, still on the South Bank. The year closes with Andrew Bud, iProov CEO, being made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to industry in the New Year Honours.
2020 sees the opening of iProov offices in Washington DC and Singapore. The UK Home Office EU Settlement Scheme hits 3.1m applications and iProov wins Best Authentication Technology at the SC Awards. 60,000 people verify themselves with NHS login in the first week of April as COVID-19 hits, taking the total to 1 million. Two start-ups, bloomd and bkynd, take up iProov’s offer of free technology for coronavirus solutions. Projects with Eurostar and the Estonian government hit the headlines. iProov for Kiosk and iProov Web are launched. The partner network expands. And iProov passes the 60 staff mark.