We are thrilled to welcome Viktoria Ruubel to Veriff as our Managing Director of Digital Identity. She will be working closely with her team to lead the business strategy and expansion of Veriff’s core product towards a reusable digital identity platform that is enabling individuals and businesses to use a single digital identity across different online platforms and applications.
Thank you, truly excited to be here! There are a number of things that excite me about Veriff. The company has a very obvious commitment to building digital transparency, globally. Veriff has gone about it, fearlessly and with integrity. I believe that an Estonian-born company is exceptionally well-suited to lead the effort of building a new standard in digital identity; in Estonia, 99% of services can be accessed electronically and the concept of reusable digital identity is an everyday reality. Honestly, I saw joining Veriff as an opportunity to be a part of the creation of something big. Simple as that. I’m excited to be a part of Veriff's next phase of growth and to contribute to its mission of making the internet a safer place for everyone.
I have had the privilege of working as business and product leader in some of the biggest industry disruptors and have helped to build, scale, and develop businesses, teams, and products across a range of sectors. From Skype and IPF to Meta and Intuit to the Tide Platform, I have been exceptionally fortunate to be a part of companies that make a real impact and improve people's lives and businesses.
Over the last couple of decades I have had a hands-on role building and scaling a number of products. At Skype, I led the effort of localizing the platform and making it available for millions of people. At IPF, my team built a digital wallet to provide financial services to the unbanked, improving access to financial services for millions of customers. At Intuit and Tide Platform, I led teams that launched a number of products that help small businesses reduce their effort and time spent on admin tasks. It always takes a team to bring solutions to life, and truthfully, I am proud of every product that we have brought to life - all of them have a real impact.
Some of those companies were truly disruptive at their peak, such as Skype or Meta, while some have been great at consistently reinventing themselves to be able to grow rapidly for almost 40 years, like what Intuit has done. The experience from those companies, and the exposure to their respective cultures, of course, has been life-changing for me. I’ve learned that businesses must continuously evolve their business models and products. They need to stay close to their customers and understand where the market is going and where innovation is born. It is important to be proactive in disrupting your own business model, because if you don't, someone else will. Success is not a time to rest, it is a time to accelerate and continue pushing forward to invent and reinvent.
At Veriff, we have a unique combination of talent, the ability to execute, as well as an inspiring mission and a rather evident passion for bringing that mission to life. The verification platform is one of the best in the world, but we are also humble enough to recognize the need to go beyond our current offerings and anticipate which way the world will go in the next five to ten years.
Building the future oftentimes requires a different approach and solution from the past - with positive and sometimes not so positive examples. Each case I’ve seen is different, obviously, but every positive experience I have ever had has required discipline, tenacity, and the guts to stick with the method and long-term vision over quick and sometimes meaningless wins. I am excited to bring this knowledge and experience to Veriff.
With reusable digital identity, we have an opportunity to build a vision for the world where individuals and businesses can use a single digital identity for multiple purposes across different online platforms and applications. My first task is to take all the data Veriff has on the topic and assemble a pirate team that will bring the identity discussion to the next level. We will be dreaming up, building and launching a market leading, scalable and profitable product. We’ll start from the ground up and purposefully and methodologically identify the customer problems, create the vision, and develop and validate a minimum viable product, using the technologies appropriate for achieving that vision. While my title is Managing Director, my everyday work is very much like that of a founder, and my ultimate goal is to create a team that can build a successful and exciting business that can make a significant impact in the digital identity space. I’m glad to have such strong support from the founders and the whole Veriff team. I am joining the team at an ideal time.
As to how exactly we will solve the future of identity and what we will build - we will share more as we go along, so stay tuned.
The world is facing a number of serious challenges in the identity space that will continue to impact the market moving forward. To name a few:
Digital identity needs to be accessible and inclusive for all individuals. This means ensuring that identity solutions are designed and implemented in a way that accounts for diverse backgrounds, technological literacy, and access to technology of all individuals. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in society and benefit from technological advancement, regardless of their circumstances.
I have a tendency to go all in on whatever I’m passionate about - and right now I’m passionate about the future of identity. So that takes most of my time, clearly. I also try to give back by helping early-stage startups. I recently joined Sie Ventures as an Expert in Residence, where I advise female-founded startups or those with female C-level executives on product strategy, from product-market fit to scaling. The reality is that female-founded startups in Europe and around the world often face significant challenges to get funding.
According to Atomico's State of European Tech report, all-female founding teams accounted for only 6% of all funding rounds in 2022 and just 1% of the funding raised. This statistic is unfortunately worsening; in 2021, female-founded startups received 1% of funding, down from 3% in 2020.
It is clear that there is still a significant gender gap in funding, female entrepreneurs need way more support, and I‘d like to be a part of the solution here rather than just a spectator.
We’ll discuss how Veriff is inching closer to having the future of reusable digital identity in its portfolio. I will share what the team has been up to - the progress we have made, discuss validated use cases, as well as some failed ones, and the partnerships we formed. We will also showcase our early product and share some early customer feedback. I think it will be an exciting 12 months, but the most exciting times are still ahead of us.