Yesterday, identity firm Evernym said it raised $8 million in a pre-series A funding led by Barclays Ventures and Medici Ventures. The latter is the blockchain arm of Overstock.com and said it invested $2 million in the self-sovereign identity firm.
Founded in 2013, Evernym initiated the public Sovrin Network for identity. Both organizations aim to get wider adoption of self-sovereign identity (SSI) standards, which put users in control of their data. In the future, the hope is to avoid larges silos of personal data that are attractive to hackers. A great example is Equifax and the infamous hack that exposed the data of 148 million people.
“Evernym is bridging the gap between the siloed approach to identity and true self-sovereign identity. Evernym’s platform allows every person, organization, and connected thing to have an independent identity,” said Jonathan Johnson, Overstock.com CEO and president of Medici Ventures.
In the announcement, Evernym revealed that some of the 50 organizations it has been working with include ATB Financial, Barclaycard, Deutsche Telekom, Novartis, CULedger, Irish Life, Telus, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and three Canadian provinces. The firm mentioned IBM as a Sovrin Network steward, but IBM is also an Evernym partner.
“When Evernym was founded, self-sovereign identity was just a concept. Now it has become a reality, and we are beginning to see adoption,” said Evernym President Steve Havas.
Evernym recently launched Verity, a digital credential platform, to allow organizations and customers to communicate with each other while ensuring data privacy.
“Evernym’s solution has the potential to profoundly change and simplify the way organizations interact with their customers digitally,” said Ben Davey, CEO of Barclays Ventures.
In addition to founding the Sovrin Network, the code is open-sourced with Hyperledger. There are two Hyperledger projects. The first was Hyperledger Indy which entered production mode six months ago. This is the code that underpins the Sovrin Network. A second project, Aries, was launched more recently to create a set of tools to create identity applications.
Earlier this year, Evernym announced it was working with Red Cross and four other NGOs on its “ID for Good Initiative”. The company is providing NGOs free access to its technology Accelerator, which usually costs $50,000 a year.