Signicat places its signature on digital security

Identity pioneers

Signicat

Photo courtesy of Signicat
After scanning an ID such as a passport, to further authenticate that this is the same person, the user is asked to take a self-portrait.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

We are becoming increasingly accustomed to living our lives online, but this presents banks and other businesses with a problem. How do they know we are who we say we are? The Nordic countries have solved this by successfully establishing electronic identity (eID) solutions. In Norway, on a weekly basis, 93% of casual users utilize eID.

Recently, Nordic Capital Fund announced the acquisition of the identity pioneer Signicat. It provides eID and signature solutions and operates the leading digital identity hub in the market. Nordic Capital will, in close partnership with the company’s management and existing shareholder, Viking Venture, accelerate Signicat’s international expansion and strengthen the company’s unique product offering.

In May, Nordic Capital made the “Rising Stars of European Private Equity” list for the seventh year running. Viking Venture invests in fast-growing software scale-ups as an active minority investor. The firm was established in 2001 and has invested in over 50 startups.

Signicat was founded in Trondheim, Norway, in 2007. The startup leads innovation in verified digital solutions, reducing risk while providing a smart and intuitive user experience. Its solutions enable companies and institutions, both in regulated and non-regulated industries, to offer efficient and user-friendly advanced online authentication, identification verification, and electronic signature solutions. In 2008, Viking Venture invested NOK 10 million. The funds were used to establish sales offices in the Nordics.

In a video on Signicat’s website, it notes that companies lose 50% of their business during the checkout—or “digital onboarding”—because of a complex and lengthy process. After beginning the purchase on the website or mobile app, the purchaser shows a photo from, for example, a passport. The Signicat system verifies the information, but then asks the customer to take a picture of themselves for further verification. The previous information automatically populates the form. A code is sent to the mobile phone, which the user enters, then digitally signs the contract. The contract receives a time stamp and seal. “The best part,” says the narrator, “is the Signicat solution is scalable across borders through one point of single integration.”

According to a press release, the company has more than 500 clients, with a stronghold in the financial services sector where they work with providers such as DNB and Western Union. The company’s solutions are also increasingly being used by such blue-chip companies as BMW and Schibsted Media Group. In 2018, Signicat generated revenues of approximately NOK 180 million (about $20.7 million), primarily subscription or transaction-based revenue. It has 115 employees across offices in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

Signicat CEO and co-founder Gunnar Nordseth said that “as one of the most prominent and experienced investors in the FinTech sector with a long and proven track record of growing businesses, Nordic Capital is the perfect partner to support our accelerated international expansion strategy. We live in a digital society where interaction between consumers and institutions are predominantly online and mobile-first. Trust is at a premium, and digital identity is the solution. With the ongoing global digital transformation, we are ideally placed to address this burgeoning market opportunity.”

Fredrik Näsland of Nordic Capital Funds said, “Signicat was born from the most advanced digital identity market in the world and is a recognized leader in one of the most exciting and fast-growing technology areas globally, acting as a key enabler for the digital economy.”

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

This article originally appeared in the June 28, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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