Eight months after reaching the unicorn status, unico, a Brazilian startup that develops digital identity protection solutions, raised a $100 million Series D round led by the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs and followed by General Atlantic and SoftBank Latin America Fund, which were already investors of the startup. In addition to the investment, Goldman Sachs will also join unico’s board as an investor and strategic partner.
With the new funding, the IDtech is now valued at $2.6 billion, two and a half times the valuation reached in the last funding round, becoming one of the largest SaaS companies in Latin America. The newly raised capital will be used to leverage unico’s international expansion, as it seeks to expand its digital identity ecosystem to other Latin American countries.
“The new investment marks the growth journey we are on. We are now entering a new phase of our business. The partnership with Goldman Sachs favors the projection of unico into new international markets and brings us closer to the future in which we will be increasingly present in the lives of consumers,” said Diego Martins, unico’s CEO.
Founded in 2007 by Martins, Paulo Alencastro and Rui Jordão, the company’s digital identity products already support the largest retailers, private banks, fintechs, and telecom companies. According to Martins, unico currently carries out about 25 million identity authentication transactions per month, including access to banks, digital wallets, fintechs, retail and e-commerce. “As digital society advances, our solutions will be massively used by people every day,” he added.
In 2021, the startup also invest in acquisitions and bought ViaNuvem, CredDefense, and SkillHub, entering into new sectors such as auto, logistics, and corporate education. In addition, the company expanded its portfolio by adding new products such as Smartlive (proof-of-life technology), unico | sign for electronic and biometric signatures, and the new biometric token, which will replace passwords and other forms of tokens in financial transactions.
“This year, unico is focused on integrating its digital identity products to serve the final consumer in an increasingly relevant way, popularize the use of biometrics in transactions of all kinds between people and companies, and expand its operations into new countries. We will continue to invest in proprietary technology that will always put us one step ahead of the market when it comes to security and protection of users’ privacy. This is how we leverage our operations with companies, and we will pave the way to become a B2C IDtech,” said Martins.
unico said that it ended 2021 with a 180% increase in revenue, expanding its workforce by 230%, reaching a total headcount of 1,000, and closing one deal per business day. unico estimates that more than BRL 70 billion in fraud was prevented last year through the company’s technologies.