A London startup has raised £200,000 to bring its ‘digital identity citadel’ to customers.

Arbor Steel, developed with a £100,000 Innovate UK grant, provides a secure and efficient way to share personal data and interact with services whilst maintaining control. 

Priced at less than a Spotify subscription, the product has now launched to market, starting with the customers of professional and financial services firms for either personal use or as a member of a charity, board or trust. 

Founder and CEO Edward Goodchild – a serial entrepreneur, wealth advisor and trustee of the UK Cyber Security Council – established the business following years of client frustration when sharing personal information to verify their identity, often over insecure, unencrypted emails. 

Arbor Steel was developed in collaboration with the digital product development agency Orckid through Goodchild’s Zendht Venture Studio. The platform combines technologies for identity verification and authentication, secure messaging and data storage into one platform.

Users such as NEDs, governing bodies and charitable boards can manage workflows online or via mobile. This also benefits the institutions that routinely require access to their client’s personal information – such as financial advisors, healthcare providers, accountants and lawyers – enabling fast onboarding in minutes. 

“Everyone who has been asked for identification documents when they engage with professionals and businesses has to share sensitive information,” said Goodchild.

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“Whether you rent a flat, sell a house, write a will, apply for a loan, make a personal investment, or have been a board director, you need to communicate and safely share sensitive personal data. Email is high risk and low security but it is the current default option. Clients rightly demand more and so they should.

“Arbor Steel is designed to turn this broken process on its head, providing everyone with an affordable and secure platform from which to maintain authority and control over their sensitive data whilst getting things done efficiently. 

“In an always-on digital world, no one can leave their privacy to chance, so stay safe online with your own secure digital citadel.”