A message from our CEO, George Lee
Although 2020 was the year of coronavirus, this year is when companies are truly tested beyond their limits. Not every industry can withstand the onslaught of the pandemic lockdowns, but we are fortunate to be part of the good tail end of the K-shaped economic recovery.
A 2021 report by Facts and Factors shows that the global eKYC market is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22%. Innov8tif is experiencing growth several times larger than that — thanks to our solid team of engineers and product makers, with some elements of luck involved.
As the dust settles, investors and clients have become accustomed to the pandemic cycles and are now looking towards the future. Here are three key trends we have observed, which will shape the industry moving forward:
1 — Staying ahead of cybercriminals
The pandemic also saw a boom in cybercriminal activities. Cybersecurity Malaysia reported 31 incidents happening in Malaysia every single day, from fraud, to hacking and data breaches.
Innov8tif's solutions are built to combat some of these issues, but we have also taken steps to protect ourselves from such threats as well. In addition to obtaining our ISO certification in January, our internal tech teams have formulated detailed policies on how sensitive data is being handled and stored.
We will not dive deep into our cybersecurity policies here, but our clients can rest assured that we are paying attention to movements within these criminal groups, and are actively partnering with other cybersecurity firms to ensure the safety of our client's data.
We foresee the race against fraudsters intensifying moving forward. As eKYC product builders, we are constantly ahead in finding loopholes on how fraudsters can bypass our verification checks, whilst also patching up any bugs found within our internal systems.
2 — Thinking and growing regionally
Identity assurance is not just a local need, but an issue that companies all around the world are trying to address. It plays a crucial role in many processes, such as real-time payments, customer onboarding, protecting supply chains, and even enabling digital banks to exist.
The current demand for our product is already overwhelming, but we are primed to capture any future demand that may arise. Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore; These are some of the areas that we have penetrated in 2021, and we have no plans on slowing down.
To enable Innov8tif to grow at such a rapid rate, we are also in the midst of reviewing and refining our internal processes.
It is a huge hurdle for us, but it is best to have an early start. This luxury will soon turn into a necessity, because we have almost doubled our employee headcount in just a year. To enable our company to grow regionally, we need to set processes that enable our valuable team members to think and operate on the same scale.
3 — Rising competition within this space
As a B2B growth company, sales cycles are long, and there are plenty of opportunities for competitors to insert themselves into the marketplace. The demand for ID verification has increased, but so does the effort and resources needed to capture it.
Within just a year, we have seen several new faces within the industry — be it freshly founded startups, sudden acquisitions or institutions launching new product lines. We have time-in-the-market and product maturity on our side, but their entrance into the market is being noted.
Like us, even lucky companies within booming industries have their own sets of challenges. Fortunately, we have plans to address these issues as well. We are not just going to put up a fighting chance, but are confident in becoming the world's leader within the identity assurance space! This is due to the core foundation we have tirelessly built across the years:
A blend of old and new; experience and innovation
We are not like other tech startups. Innov8tif has just celebrated our 10th year anniversary — meaning that we have been serving large institutions way before smartphones even became mainstream.
We have our roots in software development and aiding the customer onboarding process. Hence, we have a deep understanding of our client's needs and wants, and how our solutions can fit into various back-end IT infrastructures.
This wealth of experience is aided by the new wave of bright talents joining our workforce, bringing fresh new ideas into the workspace. Artificial intelligence is a growing industry with unlimited untapped potential, and we want to give younger talents free rein over the creative process.
At Innov8tif, we reward younger talents that have come up with creative solutions that resolve clients’ real and tangible problems — such as in the case of our product team lead, who has spearheaded the development of many of our in-house solutions.
We value homegrown technology
We take great pride in the fact that our core solutions and processes are developed entirely in-house and are patented. This means that we have full control of our product development, and are able to adapt them according to our client's needs.
For instance, our ID verification document solution OkayDoc is built from data collected from ASEAN countries, and is specifically tuned to detect the nuances and complexities within these documents. This had prevented many fraudulent sign-up attempts that leverages on weaknesses within generic verification systems.
Operating within ASEAN for this long, we genuinely believe that there is a goldmine of hidden young talents with highly sought after work ethics and soft skills within this region, and have taken steps to onboard them. In fact, our unique work culture and reputation amongst universities is something we are extremely proud of.
We want our teams of engineers to take pride and ownership in the products they have developed, by having their names forever engrained within these patent documents. Through these efforts, we hope to move the needle forward in growing ASEAN into the digital talent hub — one that our clients, ecosystem builders, and ourselves, hope that it could be.
Specialising and Innovating
Internally, we are upgrading from eKYC 1.0 to 2.0. Despite being involved with the latest technology, the needs and challenges within the identity assurance space are constantly changing. We are realising that eKYC alone could not address all of our clients' issues.
Instead, we have pivoted away from just eKYC to identity assurance as a whole. In fact, our vision is to be the world leader in identity assurance — not just verification or authentication, but the entire package!
Making such a pivot also forces us to rethink how we view competition and industry challenges. We have been inspired by the vibrant Malaysian semiconductor industry, where companies combine resources and collaborate with each other to resolve industry issues that could not be tackled alone.
Our industry will soon move in the same direction. In fact, we have partnered with several digital solutions companies, with more on the way. In addition to these partnerships, there are also several new products within our pipeline. We are excited to share them with you through product launches and announcements next year!
2021 is a difficult year for all of us, but we don't plan on resting on our laurels. We hope to break new ground and bring this industry to places not thought possible before, through innovation and cold, hard grit.
There will be new exciting announcements coming your way. We look forward to working with you in the fresh new year ahead.