Onboard.ID is a technology company developing a privacy-centric, non-centralised method of digital ID verification. We spoke to founder Kai Jun Eer about how the University of Edinburgh and the Venture Builder Incubator has helped him develop the company’s MVP, engage with potential customers and hone a market strategy.
I’m currently doing my master’s research at the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on privacy and preserving digital identity. My work there showed me that a lot of the digital identity solutions currently available are very centralised, leaving a gap in the market. I want to build something based on that gap, and that’s where Onboard.ID comes in.
Businesses with online services need to verify the identity of their customers and this process often causes a friction point in their onboarding process. Users sometimes drop off simply because the entire process of trying to verify their own ID is too lengthy and repetitive. Solutions like Google login, Facebook login, are very convenient, but they’ve never really adopted the more safety-critical applications needed for things like financial services. I wanted to create something convenient, with a good user experience that was privacy centric. Our proposition is a cryptographic digital ID stored in a mobile phone, which gives users control of their data while helping businesses verify users without disrupting their onboarding process.
Data is at the centre of our proposition. Currently, users have to repeat lengthy verification processes because there is no data sharing between organisations with privacy-critical logins. At Onboard.ID, we’re trying to build an infrastructure for data sharing that preserves privacy but also allows smooth onboarding experiences for users and organisations. There’s also a data aggregation element, where we can build on information entered at each engagement – so that when a user encounters a second or third ID check, their previously entered verifications will be there and can be added to each time. And all of this information is stored with the user, on their own devices.
Businesses typically see success by creating a solution that the market wants, and I agree, but for me it’s also about having a team of people that share a vision in creating this solution together. Success will be measured by the product and also by how empowered the team is to grow together within Onboard.ID.
The Venture Builder team introduced me to opportunities and connected me with people that were really valuable. The best thing about the Incubator is that the support is personalised. They truly understand which stage you’re currently at and provide the appropriate support. It’s not a generic programme where you’re sent on all-purpose courses, it’s truly tailored to you.
So far, we have finished building our MVP and have been engaging with many potential adopters, both in validation of the idea, and our value proposition. The feedback we’ve received has been very helpful for us in terms of tuning our strategy as well as our product development lifecycle.
We’re looking to on-board a third member of our team and to form more pilot partnerships to gain market traction. The market strategy is our real priority right now.