Signzy, an artificial intelligence and blockchain-based platform for digital on-boarding of Know Your Customer (KYC) details, said on Tuesday that it has raised $3.6 million (around Rs 24 crore) in a Series A round of funding led by venture capital firms Stellaris Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.
In a statement, Signzy said that angel investors had also contributed. These included Google India managing director Rajan Anandan, SAP Labs India managing director Dilip Khandelwal, PayU India chief executive Amrish Rau and 8i Ventures partner Vikram Chachra.
Bengaluru-headquartered Signzy said it will use the fresh capital to invest in its technology stack and expand its operations in overseas markets.
Owned and operated by Signzy Technologies Pvt. Ltd, the startup was founded in 2015 by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) graduates Ankit Ratan and Ankur Pandey along with corporate lawyer Arpit Ratan.
The company has developed a prototype that aims to digitise documentation within banks. The solution helps digitise processes such as identification, background checks, issuance of electronic bank guarantees, among others.
Signzy said it is currently working with more than 50 banks, asset management companies, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), insurance firms, wallets and payment service providers. Its clients include State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, PayU and Mswipe.
“We are building a new trust protocol that uses artificial intelligence to bring human-like fraud detection capabilities and uses blockchain to secure document and consent, instead of signatures and seals,” said Ankit Ratan, Signzy’s co-founder and chief executive officer.
Kstart, the seed fund of Kalaari Capital, became Signzy’s first institutional investor when it put in money in December 2016.
Banks, digital wallets and other financial services firms have been investing heavily in KYC facilities to meet the government's regulations. The Supreme Court’s order in September prohibiting private firms from seeking customers’ Aadhaar details for verification purposes has forced companies to explore workarounds including facial recognition technology.
Another company which recently launched a blockchain-based KYC solution for India is Malaysia-headquartered Belfrics.
Stellaris Venture Partners is an early-stage investment firm started by former Helion Venture Partners executives Alok Goyal, Ritesh Banglani and Rahul Chowdhri.
It marked the first close of its debut fund at $50 million in February last year and counts technology giants Cisco and Infosys among its Limited Partners.
Stellaris’ investment areas include local language online services, technology-led financial inclusion, supply chain networks, vertical machine-learning applications and global software-as-a-service businesses.
Its recent bets include babycare startup Mamaearth, social commerce platform Shop101 and food-tech startup Dibz.
Kalaari Capital is a technology-focussed venture capital firm which has around $650 million in assets under management.
Some of its investments this year include software-as-a-service platform Hiver, used cars marketplace Truebil, vernacular knowledge-sharing platform Vokal and digital insurance platform Toffee.
Kalaari is expected to raise a fourth fund later this year.