HELP, an identity and compliance platform with a focus on high-risk clients, has closed a $ 500,000 pre-seed investment round from angel investors, including former employees of RobinHood, Square and Snap.
The startup says it is targeting a market that traditional Fintech companies and banking institutions seem unable to cope with: namely, the rise of seemingly “ risky ” customers who are simply dealing with products deemed problematic. An example is that the legal cannabis industry grows by 67% every year and crypto by more than 46%. Meanwhile, the unbanked and underbanked population is growing by the day, but existing financial institutions seem unable to serve these expanding markets.
Founded by Ekaterina Romanovskaya, a third-time entrepreneur with a background in both finance and consumer technology, and Justinas Kaminskas, who has launched compliance products in Europe, A.ID is a B2B2C platform.
Romanovskaya said: “Our ultimate goal is to build trust: end users trust companies with their sensitive data, while companies trust users not to engage in illegal activities. We strongly believe that this kind of trust is essential and we see that it is eagerly awaited everywhere. “
A.ID says its solution enables customers to verify and onboard their customer identities, perform standard and enhanced due diligence, screen individuals and businesses against watchlists, monitor their payments, create and resolve compliance cases. and report suspicious activity to regulators. The customer can integrate it via API (application programming interface) or use it as a web application or SDK.
So far it has Arival, a digital bank for emerging industries, and Clos, a social network of creators for user verification.
“I permanently moved to the US in 2017. But I struggled to get proper attention from venture capitalists – I fell into several categories that were unpopular with venture capitalists at the same time, such as being a founder, an immigrant founder and a founder with no technical experience. The company I started grew organically until the COVID-19 pandemic killed it. I used the 2020 lockdown to study data science and learn to code, and became a data engineer. In September 2020 I founded A.ID, ”Romanovskaya told TechCrunch.
Romanovskaya became a Twitter celebrity in Russia when she co-founded a satirical political account criticizing the Kremlin, which had 2 million followers at its peak. In 2016 she co-founded Nimb, a fashionable smart ring with a built-in panic button aimed at women.
A.ID is based in Los Angeles, California, USA The European branch operates in the EU with an office in Lithuania.