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Entrust moves towards acquisition of London firm Onfido
Thu, 8th Feb 2024

Entrust, a Minneapolis-based company dealing in trust payments, identities, and data security, has announced its intention to enter into exclusive discussions for the acquisition of London's Onfido, a leading figure in cloud-based, artificial intelligence (AI) powered identity verification technology. The negotiation is still subject to obligatory regulatory permissions.

Should the acquisition progress, Entrust plans to integrate Onfido's market-leading ID verification technology stack that harnesses compliant AI and machine learning (ML) for biometric and document identification. This addition could mean significant advancements in the use of biometric-based authentication. Additional potential benefits include bolstering security for high-value transactions and signing events, thus promoting more trusted and secure interactions globally.

Todd Wilkinson, the President and CEO of Entrust commended Onfido's top-class approach, stating: "We chose to enter into discussions to acquire Onfido because we believe they have the best-in-class IDV team, capabilities and tech stack in the world." Wilkinson pointed out the increasingly sophisticated threats in the era of AI, including deepfakes and synthetic identity thefts, which demand advanced assurance of identity for engagements in sectors like banking, finance, government, and travel. He underscored, "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."

Onfido, established in 2012, streamlined access to services via digital verification, navigating over $130 million in annually recurring revenue, and currently employs more than 500 individuals. Boasting a global customer base of over 1,200, Onfido's clientele spans significant financial institutions, e-commerce platforms, as well gaming and online gambling companies.

Mike Tuchen, Onfido's CEO, expressed enthusiasm about the exclusive discussions with Entrust and the potential expansion of their advanced and secure digital identity verification solutions worldwide. Tuchen outlined: "Digital identities are enabling new levels of simplicity and access for people across the globe. The potential of Onfido's powerful AI and machine learning-driven identity verification and Entrust's proven identity security solutions would make a new world of digital trust possible."

Every week, millions utilise Onfido to access various services offered by startups and billion-dollar establishments alike. It has successfully conducted more than 200 million identity checks with passports and 2,500+ document types from 195 countries. The application of Onfido's technology enables businesses to tailor verification methods according to the requirements of individual users and markets. Onfido's 'Atlas AI' powers the platform's fully automated, end-to-end identity verification.

Multiple professional services firms have been brought in to assist with the possible acquisition. Morgan Stanley & Co. is acting as the exclusive financial advisor, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is serving as legal counsel to Onfido. Entrust has enlisted the services of Moelis & Company LLC as their exclusive financial advisor, while Lantham and Watkins LLP will provide legal counsel.