Native digital identity startup FlexID receives funding from Algorand Foundation

Zimbabwe founded blockchain startup, FlexID technology (formerly FlexFinTx)Simple Equity Agreement signed (safe) and Algorand Foundationto further develop and expand their self-sovereign identities (SSI) platform. The startup strives to offer its decentralized digital identity network in emerging markets, where more than a billion people are believed to lack formal identification.

Funding from the Algorand Foundation falls into the Impact category, which identifies FlexID as a necessary catalyst for global financial inclusion. The funding deal is a first for Zimbabwe’s startup ecosystem. The funding follows Flex ID’s Algorand Foundation Development Award, which the team received in 2020.

FlexID was founded by Victor Mapunga out of the founders’ frustration with the banking system excluding people without ID. Mapunga said he is like the more than 400 million people in Africa who do not have an identity document (ID), unable to open a bank account due to onerous paperwork and identity requirements.

“Identity is the foundation of modern commerce. Without an ID, one cannot participate in the economy even at the most basic levels, such as access to basic telecommunications services, mobile money and banking,”

“Without ID, access to education and healthcare is difficult. On the other hand, messy national records further increase the cost of doing business. With FlexID, even the informal sector can transform from an isolated point of view to the formal economy. Farmers can easily Get credit and input.”

VIctor Mapunga, Founder and CEO of FlexID

What happens when someone has access to FlexID? How does this change their lives?

According to FlexID, the startup is essentially building a decentralized marketplace for people. People are the APIs you communicate with, and this form of communication can be business, education, or health-related services. FlexID will build a bunch of credentials one after the other, allowing social mobility to happen, all on the Algorand blockchain. The startup’s platform opens up previously inaccessible African markets.

Combined with Algorand blockchain technology

FlexID, becoming the first Zimbabwe to be selected as the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneerwill use the Algorand blockchain as its decentralized key management system and later execute financial transactions.

“FlexID will perform credential issuance and verification on-chain, allowing for a fully decentralized layer 2 that puts users in control. The Algorand blockchain allows FlexID to achieve this feat because the chain is the only real solution to block Chain trilemma challenged and experienced zero downtime since mainnet launch in 2019,”

Kudzai Zharare, CTO, FlexID

Algorand solves the blockchain trilemma:

  1. Safety (This is the identity and must be highly secure),
  2. Scalability (FlexID plans to process billions of transactions per day)and
  3. Decentralization (Such a platform cannot scale when centralized.)

The Algorand ecosystem is also arguably the most developed blockchain ecosystem in the world and is now getting more recognition. Just recently, Algorand was named the Official Blockchain Partner of FIFA, the world football governing body.

“Some people watch football but lack financial services. What Algorand is doing will make the transition accessible to people in the most remote areas using platforms like FlexID, and we’re excited to be building in such a vibrant ecosystem.”

VIctor Mapunga, Founder of FlexID

FlexID will also invest in integrating its platform with existing Algorand dApps Including those in DeFi and NFTs for perfect mobility across the ecosystem.

“We are committed to funding individuals and entrepreneurs who are committed to using our blockchain as a tool for financial inclusion and for profound social and environmental impact. FlexID is the perfect example of a passionate problem solver who is using this Technology provides a range of financial services to the world’s most marginalized people. This inclusion will help generate income and stability for many for years to come.”

Matt Keller, Director of Impact and Inclusion at the Algorand Foundation.

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