A few months after raising $1 billion, payments startup Checkout.com has announced that it plans to acquire French startup Ubble, which operates a remote identity verification service. The deal should close later this year and Checkout.com isn’t disclosing the terms of the deal.
With this acquisition, Checkout.com is adding a new product to its suite of financial products. For Checkout.com customers, it means they don’t have to outsource digital identity verification to another company.
Identity verification is particularly important for crypto merchants and fintech companies. And it turns out that Checkout.com has quite a few customers in these two areas. In addition to complying with "know-your-customer" regulation, identity verification can be used to check the age of the customers or identify potential fraud before it happens.
Ubble supports 2,000 types of documents from all around the world. Investors in the startup include Partech, Breega, Kima Ventures and several business angels.
“When we met the team, we were just really impressed. We were impressed with the tech that they built, the culture of excellence that they fostered,” Checkout.com chief product officer Meron Colbeci told me.
“We’ve been blown away with the talent on their team and we thought there was a good match with us,” he added. Co-founded in 2018 by François Wyss, Juliette Delanoë and Nicolas Debernardi, Ubble had reached almost 100 employees before today’s acquisition announcement. Everyone will be part of the acquisition and join Checkout.com.
When looking at digital identity verification startups, Checkout.com had a few criteria, such as accuracy, speed of decision, how many types of different frauds they can detect and how sophisticated it is.
Following this acquisition, there could be some customers that start their relationship with Checkout.com through identity verification. “We start with identity verification and we expand with other payment and financial services,” Colbeci said.
But the fact that Checkout.com can start to offer another services to its existing customer base seems like a bigger opportunity for the company. Once a customer has evaluated and assessed Checkout.com as a potential supplier, they can use the same contract and business relationship for other products.
“There will be opportunities for us to bundle certain things together and create attractive opportunities. Potentially, even more important than pricing is the fact that you could integrate with a single set of APIs with one vendor and have several services,” Colbeci said.
Finally, Checkout.com as a company could also leverage Ubble internally. When the company onboards a new merchant, it also has to verify the identity of this new merchant. When Checkout.com expands to marketplaces, it’ll have a solution that scales well to verify the identity of hundreds of thousands or even millions of merchants.