STARTUP OF THE MONTH

Xertify
Colombia

LatinSF is honored to present Xertify as our last Startup of the Month for 2019. The Colombian platform was started in 2017 by Co-founders Danny Suarez, Sebastián Gómez, Sebastián Farfán, Felipe Arenas, and Cesar Suarez. The platform entered the booming world of Self-sovereign identity and digital wallets.

 

Applying to an institution that demands proof of your credentials can be tedious. This happens during the application process of any university’s program (especially if you are pursuing a Masters degree), as well as in the workplace. Institutions need verification of what you’ve done in order to reinforce their trust in you. Of course, this is normal. Unfortunately, words are not enough to present yourself.

 

Let’s be clear: being asked to provide proof is a normal proceeding. Any individual or organization that wants to verify background or past achievements is acting according to proper procedure. However, the process of receiving your credentials as proof of trust can turn into a process of long-lasting, complicated bureaucracy. In many occasions it can limit options, especially when waiting for results for a last-minute decision.

 

Here is a common example. If you’d like to apply to any Academic Institution for your MBA, they’ll most likely ask for your Bachelor’s diploma. In the current process, you must go back to the university where you got your diploma and ask them to send it. You’ll pay on average $80 for the whole package: Issuance, Translation, and Certification of your document. Plus, you’ll need to wait whatever it takes them to find your diploma and send it. This process can take up to several weeks.

Greg Kidd, from Hard Yaka, with Xertify’s co-founders. Greg was their first investor.

Here is where Xertify’s concerns arise:

 

Why should I pay a considerable amount every time an institution needs to prove something about me? 

 

Why am I forced to wait weeks for a process where the simple goal is to verify that I’m telling the truth?

 

And most importantly,

 

Why do I need to “ask” for my diploma in the first place if it is supposed to be mine?

 

Xertify’s solution solves these concerns. The platform lets you keep your credentials in your pocket (specifically in a digital wallet in your phone) and allows you to send it through an interface in a matter of minutes. The startup uses blockchain to ensure security and no chance of fraud. The process of verification decreases from several weeks to a couple of minutes.

Additionally, your payment decreases from $80 to less than a dollar (0.90 Cents). It is as simple as that.

 

Xertify’s wallet also allows the user to decide what information on the credential is necessary for the institutions, as you can opt out from sending unnecessary information that could incentivize any kind of bias, such as your gender or ethnicity for example.

 

Apart from its main solution, Xertify adds extra value for verification beyond borders. Due to the fast-paced, globalized world we are living in, students tend to move out of their countries and even out of their continents more often. “According to the UNESCO, the student mobility across the world was 5.5 million in 2016. Additionally, the organization forecasts 8 million students by 2025” – Cesar recalls – “This a huge increase on the trend thanks to both globalization and the interest of institutions to extent their diversity, as we believe that, the more diversity there is on campuses, the more different and innovative ideas can be found.”  There are hundreds of national official languages existing across regions. Dialects can be a tedious barrier for certification. In order to successfully approve your credential, Institutions demand to translate your credential by a certified notary. This will only sum up in adding waiting time and fees. It is surprising that something as simple as translating languages can be tedious and expensive. But it is a reality. Fortunately, Xertify was born with a globalized ideology. The platform allows you to translate your documents into another language in just a click. A simple, but efficient solution for a world-wide, modern need.

 

“Together with more relevant actors we want to give society what the Greenwich Meridian standard was for time but for certifications. You, your background and your skills will be accepted no matter where you go even if you are in a different culture with a different language” Danny Says

 

The market goes up to hundreds of thousands of institutions and Billions of Dollars in Revenue, Just in Latam alone, there are more than 3,800 academic, higher education institutions that can integrate with Xertify’s solution. “We estimated, through approximations and long-term research, that just for digital certificates alone, there is a market of 6 Billion Dollars for Higher Education Institutions, $10 Billion for High-schools, and $3 Billion for E-learning platforms across the world, per year… It’s a crazy number for us if you’d might ask.”

 

Another pillar of Xertify’s solution is to provide a platform that can bring you certainty on your privacy. Unfortunately, several institutions, mostly in Latin America and developing economies, lack the modernization of new technologies to backup information. As these universities and institutions keep your information on their storage, this centralized Database can be threatened with a data breach. “Our platform is based on identity solutions, but also on data protection.

Big, centralized databases are targeted constantly. It is an unnecessary risk to take.”

 

Xertify team working at DG717 during the acceleration process in San Francisco

 

Xertify’s Business model is based in two packages:

 

Xertify Pro: The main Business model. Allows Academic institutions to issue certificates automatically by either paying a subscription per month (based on the number of students) or by 15% upon request of the students.

 

Xertify light: Allows any individual, either a coach, a professor, or anybody interested in certifying for whatever need or reason, to issue their certifications in a matter of minutes. “It exists for customers that are not fully tackled on the Pro version”. Says Cesar. This option improves the platform’s scalability on individual customers. That’s the whole point of Xertify: An issuer can become a verifier, and a verifier can become an issue. A global network of trust”. Says Cesar.

CEO Danny Suarez discussing Self Sovereign Identity with Dev (CEO of Spaceman ID)

The startup has currently consolidated with big academic and governmental institutions in Latin America, such as the Education Secretariat of the State of Querétaro. As Xertify has already initiated relations with domestic partners in the US, the platform goal for the second quarter 2020 will be to tackle the American market aggressively. “As we are still in an early stage, we are looking to consolidate our partnerships and increase our current revenue during the first quarter of 2020. By doing so, we feel comfortable on raising the necessary capital to expand across the world”.

 

Xertify just passed through the Self Sovereign Identity Incubator program and presented their pitch during last week’s demo day. Expect to hear more from them.

 

To learn more go to https://xertify.co