Entrust in Talks to Acquire Onfido for AI-Based ID ChecksAcquisition Would Support Entrust's Digital Identity Security Portfolio
AI-based attacks driven by deepfake images, video and audio are an emerging threat to banks, financial services firms and other potential victims of these new fraud tactics. Using multiple factors to verify identities will be crucial in the fight against account-related fraud.
That is one reason that Entrust, a pioneer payment, identity and data security software and services provider, is in talks to acquire Onfido, a pioneer in cloud-based, AI-powered identity verification technology, for a reported $400 million.
"Deepfakes and synthetic identity are driving a global need for a powerful level of identity assurance that facilitates crucial digital journeys in banking, finance, government, travel, and more. Step-up authentication using biometric-based, AI-driven identity verification will be critical to ensuring security, privacy, and trust in these high-value digital-first interactions," said Todd Wilkinson, Entrust president and CEO, when he announced that the company would hold exclusive talks with Onfido on Thursday. "Onfido IDV solutions have proven their value in Europe's high-compliance environment. With the proposed acquisition of Onfido, Entrust would have the opportunity to provide unmatched identity security solutions at a time when they are needed most among enterprises and institutions."
Dallas, Texas-based Entrust - a privately held company that was founded in 1994 - declined to disclose the terms of the offer, but TechCrunch reported that the deal is worth more than $400 million, citing sources close to the negotiations.
Entrust said adding Onfido's market-leading, compliant AI/ML-based biometric and document IDV technology to its portfolio of identity solutions will give customers access to biometric-based, highly phishing-resistant authentication in high-value transactions and signing events. Businesses use IDV to check the legitimacy of documents shared by their customers. Onfido's solution helps customers quickly create verification steps, including capturing live images and video clips, to protect businesses from fraud and meet the KYC requirements listed in anti-money laundering regulations.
"We’re excited to be entering into early and exclusive discussions with Entrust to potentially expand access to the most advanced and secure digital identity verification solutions worldwide," said Mike Tuchen, Onfido's chief executive officer.
London-based Onfido, founded in 2012, became one of the first companies to offer AI-based solutions for verification. The company has undergone 14 rounds of investor funding, and the most reason Series D capital came in April 2020, as the pandemic-related move to virtual transactions was driving demand for Onfido technology. Pronounced "on-fee-doh, the company's name is derived from the Latin word for "confide," which means "I trust." Onfido says it serves over 1,100 companies and employs 600 people worldwide.
The company says it has performed more than 200 million identity checks with more than 2,500 document types and passports from 195 countries. Onfido has made two acquisitions - the most recent in May 2023, when it bought Airside, which develops privacy-based digital identity products for businesses and consumers.
Entrust was acquired in 2014 by Datacard, which can trace its roots back to 1969. Entrust has never had a formal valuation, but its annual revenues exceed $1 billion, according to TechCrunch. The company has made five acquisitions since 2000 - the most recent in June 2022, when it bought digital signing and identification services firm Evidos.