We’ve all cursed the technology upon forgetting the password to one of our myriad online accounts, forcing us to prove our identity by remembering our mother’s maiden name, our babysitter’s favourite film or what our Great-Aunt Mabel cooked for dinner last Tuesday night. But how many of us have ever silently thanked the companies that are using emerging technologies, such as multi-factor authentication, to reduce this tangle of passwords while still keeping us safe?
Manchester-based ProofID, which has secured £3m in growth capital from BOOST&Co, is one of those companies – an industry leader in identity and access management (IAM). The business is a trusted partner of the major US provider Ping Identity, implementing and maintaining systems for Ping’s blue-chip corporate clients, which typically employ 2,000 to 10,000 people around the world.
ProofID has already been recognised by the industry giant Gartner, receiving an honourable mention in the global research and advisory firm’s 2018 Magic Quadrant report on identity governance and administration, and was recently announced as the winner of Ping Identity’s Delivery Partner of the Year 2018.
The company’s customers in the finance sector include Mazars, Tesco Bank, Canada Life and Silicon Valley Bank, and it manages millions of identities in more than 150 countries across Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. It has a strong track record in audit trails and compliance, growing areas of the market in which its products are used to map users’ activity each day.
“The market is presenting exciting new opportunities. Data protection, identity management, audit trails and compliance are increasingly important parts of everyday life, and ProofID is well-placed to capitalise on these,” says Kim Martin, principal at BOOST&Co. “ProofID has a first-class management team, and the business is growing in a measured and sensible way.”
Investing in software and sales
Most of the loan will be used to fund growth initiatives, such as expanding ProofID’s sales and marketing teams. The company will continue to raise its profile by remaining at the forefront of industry developments, with its key people regularly in demand to speak as experts at major conferences and trade shows.
Part of the loan will fund the launch of the ProofID IGA product as a cloud service, and money will also be invested in ProofID’s recently acquired consultancy business PEGRight, based in Colorado Springs, to help the newly expanded company provide more services to Ping in the US.
Martin believes that BOOST&Co is the ideal lender to help ProofID grow. “The company’s chairman, Gareth Noonan, saw that we were a very good fit,” she says. “They were very particular about finding someone to help them on their journey – to do more than merely provide funds – and there will be opportunities for us to support them along the way.”
Noonan says: “From the start, we felt that this offer was the right option for us. BOOST&Co’s tailored lending and swift decision-making, as well as Kim’s understanding of our business and her excellent communication throughout the process, gave us confidence that venture debt would help us to achieve our targets for growth.”
Today the UK, tomorrow the world
ProofID was founded in 2014, and Martin says that the business has made impressive progress, becoming a big hitter in the sector within five years. It was initially supported by funding from University of Salford Enterprises, which came as part of the company’s acquisition of Salford Software, the leading provider of IAM solutions to academic institutions in the UK.
A number of universities, such as the University of the Arts London, the University of Hull and Glasgow Caledonian University, are now among ProofID’s key clients. Its customers also include retailers ranging from eBay to the John Lewis Partnership, and non-profit organisations including the World Wildlife Fund.
As institutions become increasingly aware of the importance of safeguarding their information in the digital age, the company’s ambition to accelerate its growth comes at an opportune time. Still tearing your hair out when you’re asked to reset your password by recalling the number of steps in your hairdresser’s cheesecake recipe? Never fear: with ProofID on the case, such torture should soon be a thing of the past.