Describe your company and its product.
Trulioo was founded in Vancouver to help organizations digitally onboard consumers and business entities in real-time by automating customer due diligence processes. By integrating to GlobalGateway, Trulioo’s marketplace of identity data and services, organizations can instantly verify the identity of five billion people and 250 million businesses worldwide.
What year did your company start?
Which city (or cities) are you located?
We are headquartered in Vancouver, with satellite offices in San Francisco, USA and Dublin, Ireland.
Describe your company culture in three words.
How do you celebrate company or employee wins?
We take pride in celebrating all wins – big or small. We share wins online in Slack or social media and in person around our in-office picnic tables for team lunches or get-togethers after-hours.
What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
Today, identity is more crucial than ever – organizations should verify the identity of their customers to meet regulatory requirements and prevent bad actors from using their services for laundering money and committing fraud.
Trulioo helps organizations verify the identities of five billion people and 250 million businesses across 195 countries – even in remote and developing countries, where it’s immensely challenging to verify customers due to lack of identity documentation.
With our disruptive technology, Trulioo plays a pioneering role in the identity space, creating a layer of trust between organizations and their customers. With Trulioo’s technology, organizations have been able to reduce the time it takes to onboard a customer from days – and, in some cases, weeks – to seconds.
What is your biggest milestone to date?
There are slightly over seven billion people on the planet and in October last year, we broke past the halfway point, announcing we are now able to verify five billion people – but it wasn’t easy. Being able to verify billions of people across the world using a single API was unprecedented. But we couldn’t emulate anyone, so we had to devise our own strategy.
What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest milestone also happened to be our biggest challenge. Increasing identity coverage from one billion to two billion was certainly difficult, but going from four billion to five billion seemed like an almost insurmountable task. It took us almost two years to increase our identity coverage from four billion to five billion. To our knowledge, no one had overcome this barrier before us. The barriers, in large part, can be ascribed to the absence of traditional identity data sources in large parts of the developing world. It’s easy to verify the identity of western populations – the identity infrastructure and ecosystem in the western world is already robust. On the contrary, building our identity coverage in emerging countries proved to be the hardest challenge.
What is your motto?
Trust begins with Trulioo (Truly You) – global identity verification.
How are you making an impact?
With rampant money laundering becoming a trillion-dollar problem, there’s a tremendous need for securing greater trust online and making the internet a safer place to do business; with our data expertise and technological advances, we are at the forefront of meeting those needs.
Trulioo’s identity verification solution, GlobalGateway, is used by some of the world’s largest tech companies, banks, payment processors, and money transfer companies, along with major online marketplaces, social media networks, gaming companies and financial services providers.
What is your hope for the future of tech in BC?
BC’s tech industry has grown to become one of the largest industries in the province. We hope the province retains its existing technology talent pool and continues to attract more talent in order to keep pace with the sector’s rising demand.
Lightning Round with Stephen Ufford, CEO and Founder of Trulioo
What excites you about your job?
What excites me most is the real impact we are making in people’s lives today. Digital identity enables access to basic financial services, especially for the underserved and unbanked groups who have been invisible to the banking sector for way too long.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome on my personal entrepreneurial journey was coming to the realization that to get that first yes, you need to expect 99 no’s. Being an entrepreneur is hard work even if you are launching the next unicorn startup.
If you can give advice to your 20-year-old self, what would you say?
Timing is everything. It takes more than ambition, drive and a great product – good timing means finding the right balance between supply and demand.
What are your pet peeves?
Trust is one of our core values at Trulioo, which is why inauthenticity is one of my pet peeves. I’ve learned it’s important to surround myself with genuine people who are transparent, compassionate, consistent and open to learning from their mistakes.
Words of wisdom to other tech CEOs or founders?
This speaks to young founders and leaders in particular – age may seem to get in the way, and to some extent that’s true; but, eventually, through hard work, dedication and conviction, your vision and the sincerity of your mission shines through.
Favourite country you visited?
That’s a tough question. My favourite country that I have visited this year would definitely have to be Japan. Japan is one of the world’s largest economies and for generations has been recognized for the size of its market, the might of its industry and the crucial role that it plays as a member of the G8 Summit. To top it all off, it’s a stunningly beautiful, eccentric (yet serene) country deeply rooted in historical and cultural traditions.
What is your formula for success?
From my experience, the formula for success includes having a team with grit – a combination of passion and perseverance. When starting a business, you face a lot of rejection and a large number of naysayers but having a talented, hard-working, ferociously determined team by your side makes for a recipe for success.
Name one book that everyone should read.
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
How do you decompress?
Cooking is very therapeutic for me. With a never-ending list of tasks, projects and activities, I find it satisfying to start and finish a “project,” which is why whipping up a special meal is therapeutic for me. With cooking, there’s a sense of immediate gratification and not only that, it offers a perfect opportunity to share something with loved ones.
The Pursuit of Happyness.