Interested in technology, Zheng Wei left his career as a CPA to teach himself programming. But it was his experience as his accountant that led him to become interested in blockchain and how it can be used to verify documents. “What intrigued me was the technology’s ability to enable real-time authentication,” Wei told TechCrunch. “That was awesome because, fundamentally, the accountants are there to cross-check certain transactions and make sure everything agrees with each other. When I realized that technology can completely displace that activity, he intrigued me.”
Founded by Wei in 2019 to securely verify documents, Singapore-based Accredify today announced it has raised $7 million in Series A funding co-led by iGlobe Partners and SIG Venture Capital with participation from returning investors Pavilion Capital and Qualqro. So far, it has processed 12 million verifications on 2 million documents issued and served 600 users.
Accredify began by working with educational organizations to prevent the use of fake degrees and certificates. It then began to expand into other use cases, including corporate records and healthcare.
For example, during the height of the pandemic, Accredify worked with the Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Health to create a system that would verify COVID-19 records so workers could travel. It has also collaborated with Singapore Corporate Accounting and Regulation to transform their data infrastructure. This means that now every time a company is created, it receives a verifiable business profile that can be traced back to the blockchain.
“I think being able to create this kind of commercial traction and adoption is something we’ve done very well,” Wei said.
Accredit embedded clients by first creating an identity for them on the blockchain (mainly uses Ethereum). Create a wallet or document store, which is a smart wallet on the Ethereum network. Manages the public and private key for the client. Then pull data through dashboards or API integrations.
Other companies in the same space include Unifier, which Accredify partnered with during the pandemic: Accredify created documents while Unifier read documents for its clients. US startups like Trinsic are working with verifiable identity credentials, just as New Zealand companies like MATTR are working with the New Zealand government to create verifiable digital identity and data.
Wei said the key difference between Accredify and other players “is that most of the use cases you see in the market stop at the pilot, proof-of-concept situation. When it comes to true business adoption, as well as scalability, I don’t think many companies have achieved what we’ve done, including building a complete system that has made managing COVID-19 in Singapore so seamless. ”
Accredify has offices in Singapore and Australia, and plans to double its presence in Australia by hiring more people. Wei says he is also exploring expansion into Japan through pilot programs with government entities.