AadhaarAPI.com, an Aadhaar-based technology startup, has raised an undisclosed amount in angel investment from CIO Angel Network (CAN), a company statement said. The round was led by Sanjay Mehta, private investor; Kalpana Maniar, chief information officer at Edelweiss Financial Services; and Anoop Mathur, founder of CAN.
The startup is building a customer onboarding product stack for Indian businesses which offers Aadhaar-based customer eKYC, authentication, eSign and AadhaarPAY services. The firm’s solutions help businesses go paperless, simplify customer onboarding, increase security and reduce turnaround time and cost.
“In India, the cost of enrolling customers is so high, hence AadhaarAPI.com is a disruptive proposition that companies find very useful. The company is already profitable and with this investment it's only going to accelerate its growth," said Sanjay Mehta, who has already invested in over 70 startups.
The company, owned and operated by Quagga Tech Pvt Ltd, was launched last year by Ritesh Kothari and Vijay Chhuttani. Prior to venturing into entrepreneurship, Kothari worked with oil and gas solutions provider Aker Solutions and cloud services provider Searce Inc, while Chhuttani was a software engineer at Tech Mahindra.
“Aadhaar is the world's largest biometric ID system, with over 1.18 billion enrolled members as of 31 October 2017. The whole process of setting up Aadhaar and the cost and time associated with it is complicated. AadhaarAPI.com makes it possible for companies to utilise these functionalities within regulatory boundaries while keeping the compliance in check,” Kothari said.
Established in in 2015, CAN is an invite-only angel group exclusively for CIOs and ICT leaders. It currently has over 60 CIO angel investor members across Mumbai and Delhi. Other startups that CAN has invested in include mobile advertising platform PayTunes, customer engagement startup Codemojo, matchmaking app Aisle, and in-app product learning and user support solution startup Anakage. In January this year, CAN exited its investment in security solutions provider InstaSafe Technologies.
Prominent mobile wallet providers are also aggressively working on the opportunities Aadhaar has presented, especially after demonetisation.
During a recent interaction with VCCircle, Renu Satti, managing director and chief executive of Paytm Payments Bank, said, “We believe Wallet KYC is a great way to ensure safety and security of financial systems. With that in mind, we are building a fully biometric Aadhaar-compliant KYC network.”
Digital payments firm MobiKwik recently said Aadhaar-based e-KYC is one of its priority towards which the company plans to contract over 7,000 field staff for the exercise.
In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched merchant interface app BHIM-Aadhaar, an upgrade on Aadhaar Pay. It is a biometric-enabled payments solution that allows customers to make purchases using their unique Aadhaar numbers that are linked with their bank accounts.