IdentityPass, Nigeria’s startup banks on favourable economic climate to grow exponentially

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WorldStage Newsonline– Identitypass, a Nigeria’s startup that provides verification services for companies across Africa is convinced that it could grow revenue by about 200% yearly and achieve an average of 50% job growth in the coming years if the economic climate continues to be attractive.

The company which was founded few years ago as an afterthought as the founders initially wanted to build a payment solution company, had raised $3.3 million in venture capital and is currently processing thousands of verification calls daily for businesses in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.

Mr Lanre Ogungbe, the Co-Founder and CEO of the company in an exclusive interview with WorldStage Television for the Startup on WorldStage (#SoW) project, confirmed that the company had grown its staff strength to about 40 direct staff, the figure that would be doubled in the next one year and a projection to have about 400 direct jobs in the next five years.

WorldStage is engaging all the startups in Nigeria as part activities to host the first annual SoW Summit in December 2022.

Ogungbe who started his career as a developer and later went into design before moving to the business side of technology had worked with two other tech companies before starting Identitypass.

Specifically, he said the company is serving  brands in Fintech, Insurance, Mobility, E-commerce, HR management, Crypto spaces, and many other sectors to ensure that they are secured from the incidence of ID thefts, to help them improve their customer onboarding (sign up and verification) processes.

Operating a very large team, one of the largest fully remote companies in the country, Ogungbe said the market had been receptive to the company as they had been able to launch, provide services and products to over half a thousand businesses actively, able to do over 2.5 unique verifications per month, more identity verification options, not only in Nigeria, while also able to work with other big brands to offer their businesses.

Despite large competitors both locally and internationally, he said the company had remained competitive as it’s committed to understand the customers than the competitors, “to know what they want, build custom solutions rather than generic solutions.”

He identified the most critical challenge facing the business as finding the right talents to work with.

He also mentioned the challenges of frequent change in government regulations.

On the support that the business and similar ones would need to grow, he said government should guarantee policies for ease of doing business, “so that we won’t have policies that will change the direction of our innovation, because if we don’t innovate, we will remain an underdeveloped country.”

Ogungbe said it could only be imagined the impact that about 100 companies like IdentityPass would make in the country in terms of employing thousands of people, attracting investment, moving more people out of poverty.

He said more policies to encourage innovation could be in form of tax relief, and for companies to have representation and make input when policies are being planned before they are released.

He gave an example that if for instance the CBN or the Bank of Industry is giving grants, it should be super easy for beneficiaries to access them.

On the mass exodus of Nigeria’s best brains abroad, he said it should be of a great concern to the government as the impact will be seriously felt in years to come.

He said the government should do everything possible to keep the best brains in the country by tackling the issues that are responsible for their leaving.

However, he said his company would like to stay and grow in the country as long as policies are encouraging it to grow.

On motivation, he said seeing the impact that the business was making was the major motivating factor, as people are having access to services which affect ordinary people, stopping people from being defrauded among others.

On the outlook, he said the company will deliberately invest in the country.

He confirmed that there were ongoing discussions with some universities to help set up AI technology, collaboration with other businesses that will have direct impact on the economy. On advice for youth that would want to venture into businesses, he said they should be dogged, not wait until they have their ideas 100% figured up before launching out, but must be sure that that they have potential customers who will be ready to pay for the product or service.