Creating The World’s First Trusted Identity As A Service: Jumio

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Leading the way in digital ID verification, Jumio is well worth a closer look. From ID verification, Identity Verification, to Document Verification - here's what makes this startup truly unique:

Describe Jumio in a few words.

Jumio has recently created the world’s first Trusted Identity as a Service with 3 pillars: ID verification, Identity Verification, and Document Verification, which enables our customers to create a Seamless Digital Journey to reduce their fraud rate, and increase conversion and revenue. Jumio’s focus is to evolve, move forward, never stop learning.

Creating The World's First Trusted Identity As A Service: Jumio

Alexey Grubauer, CIO Jumio

Jumio was founded more than 5 years ago, what led to it & how did it all start?

The company was founded in 2010. After some legacy issues, it was necessary to restructure in March 2016, which was successfully completed by May 2016 giving Jumio the opportunity to focus on growth and success again.

Alexey Grubauer (CIO): The original idea was to prevent credit card fraud by checking via webcam if there is a physical card present. Most fraudsters would have stolen files of credit card numbers. This original product evolved to not only checking credit cards but to being a Trusted Identity as a Service – covering credit cards, IDs such as driver’s licenses or passports, all other types of documents containing private data and even an identity check with face comparison.

Jumio got funded by Centana Growth Partners in May 2016 and additionally in August 2016 by Millennium Technology Value Partners. In what ways did the investments help the company grow?

Philipp Pointner (VP Product): The big gift is to be able to pursue partnership opportunities with other companies in the same industry. And then, of course, it is good to know someone is having your back financially.

You use computer vision technology & biometric facial recognition to verify credentials issued through your platform. What privacy concerns do users confront you with and how far do you think these technologies will bring us?

Alexey Grubauer: Traditionally our customers had to use very cumbersome, error-prone, and insecure processes to verify an ID or credit card of their customers. Many of the processes used email or FAX to let customers scan/copy their documents and send it through. This means no secure transmission, storage or processing of the data.

We focus on security and the compliant processing of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data on behalf of our customers, resulting in the fact that end customers trust us. As well as continuing this trusted service to our customers, Jumio also plans to additionally provide proactive information and support for end customers to help them to stay in control of their PII data.

What is the ingredient that makes Jumio a pioneer and leader in its field?

The team of dedicated and passionate people in an open and supporting environment, and the cutting edge technologies used.

What is the biggest challenge that the company has faced?

Elizabeth Lux (HR): 2 years ago when we had new leadership, including a new CEO, budget cuts resulting in lay offs, the Chapter 11 process last year, causing some uncertainty about the company’s future. That was a challenging year, putting a lot of pressure on the Jumio family, but one that also resulted in everyone pulling together and proving to be a stable, solid, hard working and very loyal team that is responsible for the successful and resilient company we are now.

What’s the most considerable pivoting maneuver that the team has undertaken throughout the journey so far?

Alexey Grubauer: For the company as a whole, the replacement of the majority of the top leadership including the CEO.

For Jumio Austria, setting new benchmarks of ‘self-managing teams’ within the agile environment, by introducing cross-functional, fully self-managing teams without team leaders. This presents the need to develop completely new ways of implementing organizational systems and processes such as performance management, peer evaluation, and salary reviews.

Jumio has offices in Vienna and Linz but cooperates with Hungarian & Ukrainian partners. How could the EU further foster the opportunity for companies to join forces thus raising the chances for success?

Alexey Grubauer: Jumio partners with companies all over the world and especially with companies in Europe. With the Eastern European countries having joined the EU, Austria, and especially Vienna, reclaims the position as the center of Europe. Jumio embraces diversity by recruiting the best talent no matter from which country they come from helping us to achieve our vision & mission. We support and help our employees to settle in Austria and into the multicultural and cross-functional teams that make up our winning teams.

As you mentioned, your team consists of employees from many different parts of Europe & the world, demonstrating that diversity and integration are very important topics to the company. How did you create your company culture and what are the most important aspects of it?

Philipp Pointner: We want the best people for the job and cultural diversity helps seeing things from different angles. The company language is English anyways so German skills are not required. We do offer German classes to our employees though, but that’s more to help them to feel at home in Austria.

What is the most memorable moment throughout the history of Jumio?

Markus Nussdorfer (Jumio Austria employee): When engaged employees started the conversation with management during the Chapter 11 process about restructuring the whole organization from the bottom up to become more effective and cross-functional.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Alexey Grubauer: Always stay as open and honest as you can be with the team – especially in bad times. It really helps to openly talk about the situation, uncertainty makes things way worse.

Jumio was awarded “Austrian Startup of the Year” in 2016 by the Central European Startup Awards. What’s next? Where will the journey take you?

This award celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of startups and the work they do in driving innovation across Central Europe. The judges were also highly impressed with the Jumio ethos. Jumio grows exponentially, currently almost doubling every year.

Philipp Pointner: When do you stop being a startup? I have not yet heard a clear definition other than having an exit. A startup to me is more a culture, a way of thinking and delivering value. Our next stop is cash break even this year to gain more independence.



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