South African start-up ThisIsMe, which has innovation that is “giving a heartbeat to your identity” is stepping up its international expansion after securing $2.5 million (R37.4 million) in funding from private investors.

Conceptualised in 2013 and formally established in 2014, ThisIsMe verifies an individual’s identity to other individuals, businesses, financial institutions and regulators. It does so using links to Home Affairs and the major banks.

With a focus on compliance related to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) in the financial space, the business has attracted substantial interest from South African corporate businesses and the customers they serve.

Since its launch, ThisIsMe has over 20 corporates that utilises its solutions to verify the identities of their clientele.

ThisIsMe solution and app, which is available on Apple and Android app stores, ‘conclusively’ proves that, not only are you who you say you are, but that you are still alive – assisting in preventing identity theft and other instances of fraud.

“We are planning to enter at least three different regions this year and progress in terms of expanding into two of these countries – Australia and New Zealand – is very advanced,” said Mark Chirnside, the CEO of ThisIsMe.

“On the African front, we are in talks with a potential partner in Nigeria. Nigeria represents a particularly demanding market, and confidence among ThisIsMe staff is high that their processes would aid Nigeria’s specific challenges,”Chirnside explains.

ThisIsMe also keen to expand to the US and Europe

“We also have plans for investment expansion in the US and Europe with incredibly exciting partners,” he explains.

Chirnside adds that ThisIsMe is continuing on its path of introducing innovative products with new applications being developed for the consumer, merchant and juristics markets.

“Currently, South Africans are using the ThisIsMe app for FICA purposes and to avoid the hassle of paperwork and duplicated effort in this regard. They are also actively verifying each other using the early releases of our mobile apps. In the long-term, however, I hope to see this technology become ubiquitous in South Africa and even be used for hassle-free voting online one day.”


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