WalliD raises € 600,000 in investment led by Armilar Venture Partners
WalliD, a Portuguese startup that developed an open Blockchain protocol delivering online identification and authentication solutions, raised a total of € 600,000. The investment was led by Armilar Venture Partners and included the participation of the Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office (INCM).
WalliD’s vision is to bring the physical world’s identity credentials into the online world, which has been plagued with massive data breaches and identity fraud.
WalliD’s innovative solution blends the advantages of the Blockchain, such as immutability and transparency, with the cryptographic guaranty of digital certificates issued by trusted certificate authorities, including Governments, Universities, associations, enterprises or sports clubs, to name a few. Through WalliD’s platform, a user is able to securely store her ID documents in a digital wallet and to share that information with trusted online services, providing them a cryptographic-proof-of-identity. At the same time, organizations such as financial institutions and others, can seamlessly integrate WalliD’s products and services with their internal processes to comply with an ever more demanding regulatory context, in particular to identify their customers (such as Know Your Customer procedures), while also significantly reducing onboarding costs.
WalliD’s protocol follows the principles of “data protection by design and by default” and was conceived to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Through an innovative approach of data processing and encryption, a WalliD user will retain ownership and control over her personal data.
WalliD was incubated in Caixa Mágica Software (a spin-off of ISCTE — University Institute of Lisbon) and was incorporated in 2018. The company will now use this round’s proceeds to open its protocol to third-party developers and to execute its ambitious international business development strategy.
“During the last couple of years, we have been developing the protocol and the minimum viable product for users to store and share their IDs and for online ID requesting services to be able to process this information instantly and seamlessly. While our goal is to reach out to users and ID developers all over the world, our first use cases will take place in Portugal. That’s the reason why we partnered with INCM, the issuer of the Portuguese Citizen Card, since the beginning of this journey, allowing us to integrate the technology behind digital certificates into WalliD’s platform and to test the protocol on the Portuguese market”, says Filipe Veiga, founder and CEO of WalliD. Regarding this investment round and the way ahead, Filipe Veiga adds: “Armilar Venture Partners was the obvious choice for our next steps. Armilar’s team has delivered essential support to our management team, providing not only great insights but also a hands-on approach helping us crack technological, regulatory and business development challenges that come around every day in a startup’s life.”
Pedro Ribeiro Santos, Partner at Armilar Venture Partners, explains: “WalliD has cracked a monumental problem of today’s digital world: the tension between the convenience of having our personal data online and the need to ensure data ownership and the right to online privacy, that regulations like GDPR aim to protect. The more centralized we make the data — as has been the case for many years –, the more we need to trust the gatekeepers; decentralizing data records would theoretically increase the risk of exposure and breach of compliance with regulations; but making use of solid cryptography, WalliD manages to take advantage of today’s existing user-centric wallet infrastructure to ensure that citizens have full control of their data without sacrificing convenience and without the need to trust third-party gatekeepers.“ He further notes that “WalliD is another good example of the technical ingenuity we’ve been finding in brilliant European entrepreneurial teams, that Armilar aims to support with its TechTransfer Fund.”
About WalliD, SA
WalliD is a Portuguese startup that developed an open Blockchain protocol delivering online identification and authentication solutions. Central to WalliD’s protocol is the use of digital certificates issued by trusted certificate authorities, making the information delivered through the protocol secure, reliable and trustworthy to any service requiring authenticated identity information, including, but not limited to, Know Your Customer (KYC) services. WalliD’s solution provides its users control, and privacy, of their personal data. For more information, please go to wallid.io.
About Armilar Venture Partners SGFCR, SA
Armilar Venture Partners is Portugal’s leading venture capital funds manager. An independent VC with a 19-year-old history, a high-performance track record and an international footprint, Armilar is a deep-tech investor, investing in ICT, HealthTech and CleanTech with a focus on early-stage technology-based companies. Currently, Armilar has a total of about €260 million under management, with five funds deployed typically as lead investor in seed to early-stage deals in companies in Portugal, Europe and the USA. To find out more and to register for news, please go to www.armilar.com.
The Fundo de Capital de Risco Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. The fund is also co-financed by Fundo de Capital e Quase Capital (FC&QC), managed by IFD — Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento, S.A..