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Former Oxford Students Set for $100 Million Windfall as Onfido Acquisition Nears


Three former students of Oxford University are on the brink of a financial windfall amounting to potentially $100 million (£79m) as reports indicate the imminent acquisition of their start-up, Onfido, by a US competitor.

Husayn Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy, and Ruhul Amin established Onfido during their time at Oxford, providing digital verification services to facilitate access to various online platforms. Now in their 30s, the founders collectively hold around 15% ownership in the company, with Kassai’s stake alone estimated to be valued at over $50 million (£40m), according to sources cited by The Telegraph.

The impending acquisition, reportedly in advanced talks with US-based Entrust Corp for $650 million (£516m), is expected to result in substantial payouts for dozens of Onfido employees and early investors, including Oxford University.

Although Kassai and Jubbawy have moved on to new ventures after completing their degrees in economics, Amin remains actively engaged in Onfido as a senior executive. The company is presently led by Mike Tuchen, a seasoned tech executive.

Reflecting on their journey, Kassai remarked to The Times, “The ecosystem in the UK has enabled us as founders — two of whom went to underprivileged schools — to get everything they need to build a large company.”

The roots of the founders, with Kassai hailing from Burnage Academy for Boys in Manchester, Amin from Mulberry Stepney Green in London, and Jubbawy from St. Paul’s School in London, underscore the diverse backgrounds contributing to Onfido’s success.

Onfido’s technology, widely utilized in the registration processes of digital banking and payment applications, offers robust identity verification solutions through smartphone cameras and facial recognition. This technological prowess comes at a time of escalating concerns surrounding identity fraud, with Entrust CEO Todd Wilkinson emphasizing the critical role of advanced verification tools in combating emerging threats like deepfakes and synthetic identities.

In a statement, Onfido expressed excitement over the potential acquisition, stating, “We’re excited to be entering into early and exclusive discussions for Onfido to be acquired by Entrust, a global leader in trusted payments, identities, and data security.”

The British company, backed by investors including Salesforce’s venture capital arm, Bain Capital, and TPG, reported a revenue increase to £102 million for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2023, despite an operating loss of £70 million, according to filings with Companies House.

Onfido’s impact extends beyond financial metrics, as the company prides itself on enabling millions to access services weekly, boasting over 200 million identity checks processed securely and supporting over 2,500 document types and passports from 195 countries.

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