In a world where our habits, preferences, decisions, and their outcomes are highly influenced by technology and the internet, the questions of privacy and identity protection are changing at an exponentially significant rate.
The internet—even though all rainbows and unicorns—is laden with scammers and fraudsters waiting for the slightest of chances to steal your money, your personal information, or even that most personal of items – your digital identity.
However, companies across the world are striving ceaselessly to eliminate these threats through their innovative solutions. One prominent name among these companies is Sedicii.
Founded in 2013, Sedicii develops software as a KYC, KYB and AML service for the identification and authentication of people, vehicles, products and other physical and virtual goods and services.
The company is headquartered in Ireland where its Sales, Commercial and Finance functions reside; with its technology teams spread between the Canary Islands and Belgium, and its Innovation and Strategy team in the UK.
Sedicii is currently developing cryptographic technologies to power a global federated verification network with privacy and real-time verification at its core using the Zero Knowledge Proof (ZKP) protocol. This ensures that businesses can react quickly to new government, regulatory and industry demands for real-time identity verification, authentication, and trust services where privacy is also preserved.
All start-up ventures are faced with challenges and Sedicii is no different. “If I were to sum up our challenges, I would say that we regularly meet with scepticism as to whether we can achieve our vision and raising new investment is a key part of that” says Rob Leslie, the Founder and CEO.
To give a brief about Rob: He graduated from Dublin City University, Ireland as an electronic engineer in the 1980’s. He worked in Japan for nearly 20 years earlier in his career. As an early member of the Dell Japan Senior Management team, he played an integral part in growing the company to almost 300 employees with a turnover of $300m in four years. Rob was also a partner in PTS Japan which was sold after five years, having achieved a $33m valuation at exit.
Subsequently, he then returned to Ireland and has ever since been on a continuous and successful entrepreneurial journey. Rob is also a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and has spoken at Davos on Digital ID, Cybersecurity and other technical issues affecting the world’s economies.
Rob is of the opinion that many people find it very hard to believe that they can verify a person’s identity, without sharing any sensitive information about them during the transaction. Yet, that is exactly what Sedicii does. “Organisations initially fail to believe it is possible, however, we know that we can prove that what seems impossible is possible. It is what has been termed counter-intuitive cryptography! Raising investment is another major challenge because even today, in a technology-driven age, tangible proof is needed before people can properly understand the possibilities,” adds Rob.
Talking about how Sedicii is tackling the challenges served by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rob says, “Sedicii has seen an acceleration in its business development this year. In many respects, Covid-19 has focused minds on the possibilities of the positive and negatives of online usage. Regularly, over the past nine months, we have heard global news feeds talk about the huge increase in both online purchases and services and the consequent increase in online fraud. I am only too aware that GDPR and other privacy related laws and regulations are not foremost in the minds of people; that is until they are victims of scamming, phishing, impersonation or fraud. Being a victim of this kind of crime is a violation of one’s self and both the physical and emotional turmoil caused by such crime should not be underestimated. So, our challenge is a positive one – to continue to grow our network of customers and users in order to ensure the privacy and safety of everyone.”
Bequeathing the Keys to Success
In his advice to those wishing to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, Rob says, “Chose a profession you love, believe in yourself, and look for a gap in the marketplace. Then Persist, Persevere and be Patient – the 3 ‘P’s. Listen to and take advice from those who have gone down the entrepreneurial path before you.”
“Accept disappointments. In fact, embrace them as challenges – they will shape you and your business. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place; you have to be all things to many people and so try and strive for a good work-life balance. Be kind to yourself and when success happens take the time to enjoy it.”
Excellence at the Core
Sedicii has invested a significant amount of time working on the development of new technology in the areas of advanced cryptography, biometrics, and artificial intelligence. We use this capability to deliver more robust verification capability that protects privacy and confidentiality without compromising on the need to know that someone really is who they claim to be.
When Sedicii won at the BBVA FinTech for the Future Awards, Marisol Menendez, BBVA, Head of Open Innovation said, “Sedicii is the start up with the greatest potential to transform the financial sector in the next 10 years!” Rob believes this accolade best describes how Sedicii stands out from its competitors – attributing this distinction to Sedicii’s technology being a class apart.
In the words of Fulvia Montresor, former Head of Technology Pioneers in WEF, “Sedicii is part of a group of entrepreneurs who are more aware of the crucial challenges of the world around them and who are determined to do their part to solve those challenges with their company.”
Sedicii has a vision to build the technology to power a globally federated privacy network. The company has seen more and more verifying entities joining the network. It believes this will deliver better services for the public which will ultimately secure our future and provide stability for investors and perhaps most importantly, for Sedicii and the team, it proves the fact that they have made a real difference to the world.