Jun 16, 2021

Stripe Launches AI-Based Identity Verification System

3 min
With Stripe Identity, verifying users and merchants is now as easy as accepting a payment

A self-serve platform that helps companies confirm the identity of global users, Stripe Identity will prevent fraud attacks while minimising friction for legitimate customers. From financial services to e-procurement and e-commerce, after all, you need to know who you’re dealing with. If you don’t, you run the risk of violating international know your client (KYC) regulations, losing money when suspicious merchants don’t fulfil their shipments, and inviting cyberattacks. 


Stripe, best known for its payments products, has realised that companies are ready and willing to pay for a way to quickly and efficiently determine if their users are to be trusted. ‘Businesses have been asking us for an easy and fast way to verify identities online. Stripe Identity offers them just that’, said Rob Daly, Head of Engineering.


How Does It Work? 

Stripe Identity uses computer vision and machine learning to read and match official IDs from over 33 countries with customer selfies. This may sound like a piece of cake, but imagine trying to build software that recognises government identification cards from all over the world. Each country has different standards and formatting, but it’s a perfect move. Businesses work in a global network, and their supplier networks may span five or six continents.


In as little as 15 seconds—as opposed to weeks or months—Stripe’s platform runs biometric photo ID-matching to validate a user’s name, date of birth, and SSN. Over time, its AI will be able to use machine learning to detect fake IDs and spoofed photos. This learning is already in progress. Discord, Peerspace, Shippo, and select other companies have tested the platform’s features; Stripe itself has used the platform for internal onboarding and fraud detection for almost a decade; and in 30 countries across the world, it’s started beta testing. 


According to Stripe, here’s what the platform will do: 


  • Increase trust and safety
  • Reduce fraud losses
  • Streamline KYC
  • Prevent account takeovers


Why Is This A Savvy Move? 

At first, Stripe’s choice to venture beyond payments may seem counterintuitive. But ID verification software takes a lot of tech expertise to build—expertise that many companies don’t have and desperately need. Enter Stripe. It’s built complex internet infrastructure since 2011 and can provide shipping firms, e-commerce players, and procurement operations with a trusted alternative to DIY options. 


In addition, millions of companies in 120+ countries, from Uber to Amazon, already use Stripe to help run their business operations. Other companies are jumping on the ID and security platform bandwagon, such as Jumio, Onfido, Veriff, and Passbase, but Stripe, due to its vast partner network, will have a market edge. 


How Much Will It Cost? 

To start off, Stripe Identity will charge US$1.50 for each completed verification. If companies process upwards of 2,000 identity checks per month or operate with unique business structures, however, they can take advantage of custom pricing. ‘Stripe powers the kinds of companies that couldn’t exist ten years ago, with new models like crowdfunding, on-demand apps, and marketplaces’, the company explained. 


Regardless of what type of business you run, Stripe is making the bet that you’ll need them to handle the threat of fraud. And why not? Stripe apparently streamlines the process. Said Delia Pawelke, Stripe’s Head of Global Risk Strategy and Onboarding Policy: ‘For an online business, verifying someone’s identity is now as easy as accepting a payment’. 


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Aug 3, 2021

Nvidia’s platform for AI startups passes 8,500 members

2 min
Nvidia has announced it is tracking more than 8,500 AI startups through its Inception AI startup programme

NVIDIA Inception, an acceleration platform for AI startups, has now surpassed 8,500 members. That’s about two-thirds of the total number of AI startups worldwide, as estimated by Pitchbook.

NVIDIA Inception is a programme built to accommodate every startup that is accelerating computing, at every stage in their journey. All programme benefits are free of charge and startups never have to give up equity to join.

Since Inception’s launch in 2016, it has grown more than tenfold. With total cumulative funding of over $60 billion and members in 90 countries, NVIDIA Inception is one of the largest AI startup ecosystems in the world. Growth has accelerated year over year, with membership increasing to 26% in 2020, and reaching 17% in the first half of 2021.


Data from across the world


Inception figures show the United States leads the world in terms of both the number of AI startups, representing nearly 27%, and the amount of secured funding, accounting for over $27 billion in cumulative funding. 42% of US-based startups were in California, with 29% in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Behind the US is China, in terms of both funding and company stage, with 12% of NVIDIA Inception members based there. India comes in third at 7%, with the UK right behind at 6%.

AI startups based in the US, China, India, and the UK account for just over half of all startups in NVIDIA Inception. Following in order after these are Germany, Russia, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Korea and Japan.


Industry acceleration


In terms of industries, healthcare, IT services, intelligent video analytics (IVA), media and entertainment (M&E) and robotics are the top five in NVIDIA Inception. AI startups in healthcare account for 16% of Inception members, followed by those in IT services at 15%. 

More than 3,000 AI startups have joined Nvidia Inception since 2020. “Some countries are accelerating their ecosystem of AI startups by investing money and encouraging the local players to create more companies,” said Serge Lemonde, global head of Nvidia Inception, in an interview with VentureBeat.

“In our programme, what we are looking at is to help them all,” Lemonde said. “The lesson here is really having this window on the landscape and helping the startups all around the world — [this] is helping us understand the new trends. We can help more startups by developing our software  and platforms for the upcoming trends.”

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