Identity verification fintech Data Zoo banks $35 million after 13 years of bootstrapping


Sydney-based fintech Data Zoo has secured $35 million (US$22.7 million) in external funding for the first time. The investment was led by Ashok Jacob’s investment firm, Ellerston Capital, through its JAADE fund, known for its backing of startups such as Mable, Camms, and Phocas. This funding round has propelled Data Zoo’s valuation to over $100 million.

Data Zoo specializes in providing know your customer (KYC) identity verification solutions for major financial institutions, payment providers, and fintech startups. Their software, developed by founder Tony Fitzgibbon and chief information officer Memoona Anwar, utilizes patented technology to enhance KYC compliance and prevent fraud. Notably, it minimizes costs and risks for businesses while prioritizing customer privacy by eliminating the need for identity data storage.

After serving as CEO for a decade, Fitzgibbon stepped down in February this year, with former London Stock Exchange executive Charlie Minutella assuming the CEO role from New York. Despite being bootstrapped since its inception in 2011, Data Zoo has expanded to over 80 employees globally and operates across 10 offices worldwide, including in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the US, and Europe.

The fresh capital injection will be directed towards driving adoption and innovation in Data Zoo’s ID verification software, which accesses identity data from over 170 countries. Among its notable clientele are a Big Four Australian bank, a global social media brand, and three of the top global payment providers.

Fitzgibbon highlighted the growing threat of fraud and identity theft, stressing Data Zoo’s role in providing efficient and secure identity verification solutions. He expressed pride in the company’s innovation, user experience optimization, and growth in a competitive market.

Ellerston JAADE investment director David Leslie commended Data Zoo’s impressive international expansion and its establishment as a trusted identity provider. He expressed confidence in supporting Data Zoo’s continued growth in the identity verification industry, acknowledging its remarkable achievements without prior external funding.