Digital identity verification tech firm Onfido has been acquired by Entrust Corp, a global leader in trusted payments, identity and data security.

BusinessCloud revealed in February how Entrust were in talks to acquire Onfido for ‘well above’ $400m.

The final purchase price hasn’t been revealed but it represents the highest value return on investment for a student-led start-up for the University of Oxford.

Onfido was one of the first entrants into Oxford University Innovation’s Incubator in 2012, an entrepreneurship programme that helped to nurture the technology developed by student founders Husayn Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy, and Ruhul Amin.

In 2013, while pursuing their studies at Saïd Business School, the team went on to receive £20,000 in early phase funding through the Entrepreneurship Centre’s Oxford Seed Fund.

The sale represents an 80x times return on the Oxford Seed Fund Investment.

Onfido has secured several high-calibre investors over the last decade including the University of Oxford, SBI Investment, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures), Salesforce’s venture capital arm and private equity groups Bain Capital and TPG Growth.

Onfido now helps millions access services every week – from billion-dollar institutions to hyper-growth startups. The company has safely processed more than 200m identity checks with 2,500+ document types and passports from 195 countries.

Onfido set to be acquired in $400m+ deal

One of the original co-founders, Husayn Kassai, who is now the CEO and co-founder of, said he was 22 when he helped come up with a ‘moonshot’ idea in to verify identities online.

He said: “Having support from Oxford Innovation’s first incubator provided a crucial launchpad – not only for the company but for our confidence. Oxford’s leap of faith into a nascent idea, was rocket fuel and I am incredibly grateful to Oxford University and the entire ecosystem for supporting our journey.

“Onfido’s exit demonstrates the powerful influence academic institutions hold in delivering outsized local and global impact.

“It is rewarding knowing that our exit’s returns are being reinvested by Oxford into supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“Hopefully, this exit will encourage more institutions to prioritise investment and support into student led companies.”

Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation, the University of Oxford, said: “Onfido has grown from a student startup into a 500-strong team with more than £140m of revenue and customers worldwide.

“With its acquisition by Entrust, Onfido has shown that student-led companies can become phenomenally successful, inspiring a new generation of students, staff, and investors to cultivate our world-class innovation ecosystem in Oxford.”

Mairi Gibbs, CEO of Oxford University Innovation, said: “We are proud to have supported the Onfido team through Oxford’s earliest incubator programme and to see the tremendous success of one of our first startups.

“The return received by OUI will be reinvested in our Incubator programme to provide more opportunities for our student and staff entrepreneurs to train, collaborate and create companies which deliver game-changing technology.”

Todd Wilkinson, president and Chief Executive Officer of Entrust Corp, said: “Over the past 12 years the Onfido team has developed a cloud-based, AI-powered identity verification technology that helps millions access digital services every week – from billion-dollar institutions to hyper-growth startups across multiple sectors.

“Millions of customers joining a new digital bank or payments app use Onfido’s technology during the signup process. Onfido’s technology is also used to verify a driving licence or passport with a smartphone camera.

“Onfido has the world’s best-in-class ID verification team, capabilities, and tech stack and it’s thanks to entrepreneurial schemes like this one from Oxford University Innovation that the founders were able to get their start.

“We welcome the continued support that Oxford is providing the UK to help build a vibrant environment for tech growth and Entrust is proud to be a part of this, with tech centres in Cambridge and now in London with Onfido.”

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