Innovation & Enterprise


UCL-supported startup raises $2.5 million to revolutionise identity verification

30 June 2023

Startup business Outdid, supported at UCL’s entrepreneurship hub, has raised $2.5 million to redefine traditional ID verification, with its fraud-resistant technology.

Ana-Maria Pricop and Zvezdin Besarabov, founders of Outdid

Outdid has developed a new kind of platform that enables companies to verify customers’ identity without having to access, process or store their private personal information. ‘Zero-knowledge proof’, the technology that underpins the platform, works by verifying information without revealing the underlying data.

The technology is designed to be 100% ‘fraud resistant’, which means companies no longer have to worry about customer identification information being falsified, or expensive data breaches. By eliminating the need to store private data, the new platform also reduces business costs associated with compliance and data storage.

With suspected fraud of identity documents as high as 13.2%, Outdid’s technology is set to redefine ID verification across multiple industries, including financial services and hospitality.

Swift growth of the startup

The business was founded in 2022 by Zvezdin Besarabov, who studied an MEng at UCL Computer Science, and Ana-Maria Pricop.

Zvezdin explains: “On one hand, data privacy has become a significant concern for people globally. On the other, fraud with online verification has reached a new record, the prevention of which requires more data collection and processing.”

Ana-Maria adds: “Our ID document verification solution addresses these issues head on. It’s designed to ensure that not only is verification fraud-resistant, but that personal data remains private, tucked away from prying eyes.”

The business has quickly attracted the attention of identity leaders and companies thanks to the fraud-resistant, scalable and cost-effective nature of the platform. The versatility of the solution means it can be applied across various industries and verification scenarios, with the first product concentrating on age verification.

“There are a lot of identity verification solutions out there but none taking the approach to privacy Outdid is taking using zero-knowledge proofs, minimising costs and compliance risks.” said Matias Woloski, CTO and Co-founder of Auth0, a leader in the web authentication space.

The $2.5 million funding round was led by Jump Crypto, supported by Superscrypt and a group of over 15 angel investors including Martin Varsavski, 5-time unicorn founder and Matias Woloski, co-founder of Auth0. The funds will be used to support Outdid with their next stage of growth, as they expand their product and business. Outdid are also launching a partnership programme, to offer handpicked companies access to tailored verification solutions.

Support from UCL Innovation & Enterprise

The Outdid co-founders are being supported with their business as part of UCL’s Hatchery incubator programme at BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in the heart of King’s Cross. As well as access to free office space, they are matched with mentors and receive tailored business support.

Previously, Zvezdin also attended a six-week programme run by UCL that teaches the practicalities of setting up your own business.

Both Hatchery and the Build programme are part of UCL’s free extracurricular entrepreneurship support available to all students and recent graduates.

Zvezdin says: "We're grateful to have received support from UCL's Hatchery programme. The financial support, such as having a free centrally located workspace, was immediately helpful. But we quickly realised that the core value was in the community of similarly ambitious, like-minded individuals, together with the proactive support of UCL staff. An entrepreneurial journey is overloaded with uncertainty, so having this circle is vital.”

Kathryn Walsh, Executive Director UCL Innovation & Enterprise, said: “I’d like to extend our congratulations to Outdid and to the entrepreneurship team at UCL that supported them. To achieve this level of investment so early in their journey is testament to the huge potential of this new technology, the motivation and drive of the founders, and the quality of support we’re able to offer here at UCL. Huge well done to everyone concerned.”


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Photo © Kirsten Holst