- The Bulgarian digital identity and trust services provider Evrotrust raises €2.5M from the growth equity investment arm of the Bulgarian Development Bank Group, Capital Investment Fund.
- The financing comes prior to Evrotrust’s plans to raise Series A in 2023 and is aimed to help the startup become the leading identity-as-a-service provider in Europe.
- Until the end of this year, Evrotrust will invest in product development and international growth and will expand its team by 30%.
Еvrotrust is a provider of qualified trust services that helps regulated businesses and government institutions to digitize their services. The company offers a technology solution for remote identity verification and secure qualified electronic signatures. The platform enables organizations to remotely identify, onboard, and provide services to their customers in a fast and convenient way.
The Evrotrust platform is integrated with government institutions, international banking groups, and non-bank financial institutions such as insurance companies, pension companies, and telecoms.
“Even though we are a bootstrapped company, we have been hitting great growth numbers just like VC-backed companies. Our team decided to go with the Capital Investment Fund because we liked the idea of being backed by a fund that is owned by the government. This brings another layer of validation, which is really important for a business like ours that operates in the trust and identity business. When it comes to identity, the biggest source of trust is the government. We also saw a great team of professionals and potential long-term partners who instantly understood our business and potential,” Konstantin Bezuhanov, co-founder and CEO of Evrotrust, shares for The Recursive.
In addition to being an investor in Evrotrust, the Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) is also a client of the company’s digital identity and electronic signing platform.
The gap in digital identity products and services
Evrotrust was founded in early 2016 by the e-government expert George Dimitrov and the financial specialist Konstantin Bezuhanov. Their vision was to become the first company that uses both hardware and software to improve existing digital identity products. For the first two years, the team was working on technology development and legal validation. Evrostrust went live with a finished product on the market at the beginning of 2018.
“We started Evrotrust because we realized something that the rest of the world hadn’t figured out yet. It was the fact that physical passports and ID cards which are the foundation of the identity of global societies were dinosaurs whose days were numbered. They usually cover one single version of you, many times with an unflattering photo. But the big problem is that they are physical, nonportable, and very easy to fake in any kind of digital interaction,” Konstantin Bezuhanov explains.
The company attracted the interest of financial institutions in the local market. One of the first supporters and customers of Evrotrust was Unicredit Bank, which was also the first early adopter of the company’s digital identity solutions. Today, Evrotrust is working with almost all tier-one banks and banking groups in Central and Eastern Europe.
“The three big winds of change that are happening right now are digitization, financialization, and decentralization. At the convergence point of those three things come digital identity and trust services. Every time we talk about digital financial products, there is an inherent need for all stakeholders to have trust in the system. What we saw out there on the market is that many of the existing solutions had three main drawbacks – high onboarding friction, insufficient risk management, and lack of flexibility,” he adds.
Bootstrapped organic growth
The growth journey of Evrotrsut has been untraditional compared to the traditional startup. Apart from raising a small pre-seed round from their strategic backer Unicredit Bank, Evrotrust has been growing largely organically.
“The sector that we are working in is quite stable in the current economic environment. We work predominantly with banks and financial institutions,” Konstantin Bezuhanov points out.
Apart from Unicredit, Evroturst has successful partnerships with the Bulgarian branches of KBC Bank, OTP Bank, Postbank, and Procredit, as well as some international branches of the RBI Group. “We are also currently listed within the DocuSign ecosystem as a qualified trust service provider. In addition, Evrotrust has concluded a strategic partnership with MasterCard. Our clients see great results of adopting our platform – around 11x faster customer services and growth of digital channels of over 300%,” the CEO of Evrotrust says.
Currently, the company works with over 515,000 end users and throughout the lifecycle of the company, there are more than 800,000 people who have engaged with the services of Evrotrust. Now, Evrotrust is also expanding to Africa, where the company already has attracted the third largest bank in Kenya as its client. Evrotrust is also the provider of digital identity in North Macedonia.
Evrotrust will now focus on expanding its geographical presence across Europe and within this year the company will be raising a Series A round from international investors.