Estonian ID verification company Veriff to lay off 63 staff

Kaarel Kotkas (front, center) and some of the Veriff team.
Kaarel Kotkas (front, center) and some of the Veriff team. Source: Veriff

Secure identification verification startup Veriff is to lay-off 63 employees, the company says, according to daily Postimees.

In a move which has seem a surprise to outsiders, given that Veriff founder Kaarel Kotkas, 26, has said repeatedly since the coronavirus pandemic began that the company's business was growing – doubling between February and April - due to increased demand for secure, personal verification online as social distancing regulations came in, Kotkas told Postimees (link in Estonian) that it was nuances in the company's business model that were the cause.

Kotkas said that issues had arisen in verification in markets outside the U.S. and Europe, for example in some African countries, where verification has had to be done manually as opposed to on an automated basis as in the U.S. and Europe; this sector has collapsed, the article said.

Over 100 people worked in this part of the company's operations. Just last year, Veriff's staff grew from 20 to over 300, according to Postimees.

Kaarel Kotkas, in 2018 ranked among the top 25 most influential young entrepreneurs in northern Europe according to the Nordic Business Report, also stressed a need to become financially independent and turn a profit.

"We are not yet profitable, but we are moving in that direction," he said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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