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Our investment in APLYiD

18 Nov 2021 By Edward Keelan

In recent times, Australia and New Zealand have put innovation and entrepreneurship high up on the agenda, leading to a booming technology ecosystem. Many of the region’s fastest growing technology companies are now looking to international expansion as they enter the next phase of their growth

We see an opportunity to play a key role in helping companies from the region to expand both in the UK and other geographies. For over a decade, we have funded some of the world’s most exciting new technology companies and helped them to develop strategies for entering new markets.

It is with that backdrop that we announced our investment in APLYiD, an exciting reg-tech business headquartered in New Zealand, with aspirations to grow rapidly in the UK. Following an initial introduction from the UK Department of Trade and Industry, we tracked APLYiD for over two years prior to our investment. APLYiD’s need for funding and assistance in entering the UK market was a perfect fit.

Investment Thesis

  • Regulators are demanding more robust AML/KYC systems and processes. Non-compliance has led to a 26% year-on-year global increase in fines, while reputational damage and loss of customer trust represents an even more serious intangible risk.
  • The global market for anti-money laundering/know your customer (AML/KYC) software products is worth around $7.5 billion and growing at around 14% year-on-year, with the covid pandemic rapidly accelerating the need for software tools that help to onboard customers quickly, safely, securely and remotely.
  • APLYiD offers a digital, end-to-end digital identity verification process that combines all the checks necessary to meet stringent legislative requirements. At the users’ end, compelling UX means the whole process takes only a few minutes, with results provided in real time.
  • The product draws on cutting-edge technology, including biometrics and optical character recognition, and trusted third-party data sources, including government datasets, to ensure maximum pass rates, while maintaining top quality security and assurance. APLYiD has an established customer base of 350 organisations, spanning a range of sectors, with a focus on small and medium sized businesses, to whom it offers access to technology typically reserved for tier one banks.
  • With UK expansion now in motion, strong established relationships with third party data and tech suppliers, and a product that offers seamless customer experience, we think APLYiD represents an exciting player in this crucial – and growing – space.

Who are the pioneers

APLYiD was co-founded by Russell Smith (CEO) and Claudia Smith (COO). Russell is a serial founder with a focus on commercial and customer success. He brings over 15 years of experience in credit, identity and data markets. Claudia is an entrepreneur with deep expertise in technology, data, and fraud, developed during a career at organisations including Experian and Lexis Nexis.

Why us

As one of Europe’s largest and most active investors, we’ve got lots of experience helping early-stage companies expand internationally, whether that’s into the UK where we’re based, or from the UK into Europe, the US or Asia.

In the short space of time since we made the investment Russell and Claudia have already set up a new office in London with seven immediate hires and plans for many more. We’ve helped the team to find a new office, introduced them to our network, and will be putting our Portfolio Talent team to work as they continue to grow the team.

We’re delighted to welcome APLYiD to the portfolio and are excited at the prospect of backing more ambitious businesses from the region.

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