2018 has been a year of building, discovering and succeeding for the SmilePass team. Let’s talk about our Bob the Builder phase first.
We’ve built a great team covering all the major functions in a modern software company. In a market where talent is in short supply, we haven’t struggled to find talent – which says something about how people view our focus and the potential of the business. All of our team members are entrepreneurs and everyone engages in a fully transparent and constructive way. We expect the same of our customers and prospects. We’ve also built our Biometric Platform as a Service from scratch. We now offer a mobile app as well as web front end with an admin layer in the backend for customer identity management and verification. We’ve also developed our own liveness detection capability to prevent spoofing. SmilePass now can authenticate government issued ID’s in real time and remotely. We then match a selfie to the photo on the document in order to create a secure biometric profile for any customer or citizen. We’re in the process of introducing more biometric modes soon.
Moving on to the David Attenborough phase. One of the key things we’ve discovered is that you can’t do verification unless you have previously identified an individual. That was our Homer Simpson moment! We’ve discovered that some sectors, even while they are experiencing high fraud levels, are not focused on technology as solutions. We’ve also discovered that providing an individual living in the developing world with the ability to prove their identity on an ongoing basis can and will have a huge positive impact on their lives. A proven and portable identity enables them to access government services for which they’re eligible as well as commercial services, so they can participate more fully in economic activity. Well managed identity and verification has the ability to liberate citizens in developing countries with benefits to all concerned. We’ve discovered that many citizens in Africa use their phones to do things we haven’t yet dreamed of.
So now to our Lewis Hamilton moment. During 2018 we’ve had a lot of people (including leading analysts) say some very complimentary things about us. We’ve been described as leaders and innovators in biometrics as a service and Early Metrics provided a great valuation for the company for investment purposes. We’ve contracted with some great partners who are experts in specific industries as well as technology partners with reach across Africa and Europe. We’ve concluded successful POC’s, signed our first customers as well as contracted to our first large opportunity in Africa. As with Lewis, success takes significant effort over a long period of time and we know what it takes to stand on the winner’s rostrum spraying champagne over everyone else.
2019 is going to be the year of going to market and proving our ability to scale with large deals across a variety of geographies. In the meantime, have a peaceful and relaxing festive season.