Vespia. The Future of Business Verification, Now
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Can you trust your husband? Wife? Your closest friend? Here’s hoping your relationships are built on a foundation of honesty and full disclosure, established over months, years, or even decades spent in each other’s company. But what about your business relationships: partners, customers, investors? Unless you wake up with them every morning, you’re likely going in blind, risking your reputation – not to mention time and money – every time you start doing business with someone new. Is there any real way you can be sure who you’re dealing with?
How hard can it be?
Maybe you want to take the responsibility for verifying a new partner yourself, to be sure it’s done properly. Well, first you’ll have to find the relevant commercial registers and make enquiries (and wait for responses), then locate any criminal watchlists the company could appear on, research sanctions that may apply to the business or any of its people, work out exactly how many real people are active in the organization, investigate each board member’s background and any connections they may have to high-risk industries or national governments, get up to speed on the regulations in each of the countries the company is operating in, follow the money trail to the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO)…
And these are just basic anti-money laundering requirements. You still don’t know much about the business behind the search results. Do the owners post provocative tweets? Does the office actually exist? Is the business sustainable? The amount of information out there pertaining to a company and the people involved in it is vast. Even if you did have enough spare time to obtain it, it would take a lifetime to read through it all.
Yes, googling is a quick way to get some snippets of info; although, who knows how reliable the sources will be? Employing a legal advisor or auditing team is an expensive (and slow) way to get only slightly more detail (albeit in a nicer-looking document). It’s true that you can probably find out a lot more if you fly to China, take on an alias, and sit nonchalantly at a café while peering over the top of your newspaper to see if the address on the company’s documents really is a warehouse and isn’t just listed as one (it would be a fun adventure) but all this extra effort takes time away from your real job: concentrating on your core business.
Working with a trusted partner is known to be cheaper, faster, and deliver better results. Relying on instinct and not doing your due diligence can risk your reputation, not to mention your bottom line. And what were once reliable, even cutting-edge ways of verifying the basics about a company are now looking positively prehistoric, as the brave new world of RegTech (regulatory technology) sprawls out in ever more unexpected directions. It’s time to join a movement that is engineered to stay ahead of the game. The way you gain intelligence about your business partners and customers has to evolve as quickly as the market does. As we Vespians say, #dontbeadinosaur.
It's becoming so much bigger than AML compliance. It’s about trust. We at Vespia believe that even the Ubers, Airbnbs, and Amazons of the world will benefit from knowing who their business partners and customers are, not to mention the end users who will feel fundamentally safer when making purchases, renting rooms, and booking rides.
It wasn’t nearly enough for us at Vespia to create another solution for combating fraud and eliminating money laundering – that’s what everyone in RegTech is doing. We also didn’t want to be another KYC provider needlessly reinventing the wheel. No, we’re thinking much bigger. This is an entirely new category of solution.
Vespia: home of the new trust superheroes
Vespia’s story started with me, Julia. After being part of Veriff, an identity verification (KYC) soonicorn, where I saw how individuals could be verified in mere seconds, I moved into the prehistoric business verification (KYB) industry and was shocked to find a landscape populated by utter dinosaurs. KYB was just chaos, with no established standard of verification, manual processes, inflexible business models, long onboarding and integration times, the worst excesses of 20th-century fiat banking, and prohibitively expensive compliance services.
I put out a call for some of the brightest tech minds in the space and Vespia was born. We are a colourful group of misfit specialists in identity verification, digital identity, crypto, sharing economy, and gaming. Knitted into our DNA are digital signatures, fast identity verification, and the ability to sense the RegTech Earth shifting beneath us. We Vespians are superheroes of a different breed: unlike those dinosaurs who are incapable of thinking beyond the scope of current legislation, we have an entirely fresh take on the KYB problem and therefore we’re the best candidates to start a KYB revolution.
We began by offering a frictionless way to verify your business partners and customers that works as quickly as a Google search. You can use it in the form of a dashboard or integrate it into your existing solution. The data used to perform a Vespia verification are live. Each time you perform a search, all official sources are queried in real time. Within 30 seconds you will know if your business partner is real or not, based on the most up-to-date information available.
2022 is when we take the next big step in our mission to become the global standard for business verification. This is where engineering intelligent trust really kicks up a gear. Using our arsenal of algorithms, we will leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to supercharge our global databases. Up-to-the-minute regulatory compliance, KYC, and anti-money laundering information will be infused with rich social media, location, blockchain, and sustainability data to enable Vespia to make unbelievable connections between people, companies, and industries.
Vespia will not only track these entities in real time but also make predictions about their future trustworthiness, too. As the RegTech sphere expands, Vespia only grows in power. We’re continually adding new sources of data, both about individual organizations and across industries, training our algorithms to produce increasingly precise results. As we go, we intend to involve businesses in their own verification, giving them the opportunity to add verifiable analogue data into the system to further strengthen their Vespia rating. Trust will permeate every part of the chain, as a new era dawns of seamlessly secure business relationships.
It doesn’t stop there
The next logical step after bringing businesses inside the process of verification would be to give something back. The current state of affairs is appalling. Look at Binance, with its 15 documents to be uploaded and 2 months of waiting (if you’re lucky). Why? With the forthcoming Vespia Passport, your business will be able to get verified and onboarded in a matter of seconds, while retaining granular control over your data and who it‘s being shared with.
This is not a drill
We’re serious about this. In a world of nearly 600 million entrepreneurs, verification shouldn’t take the 16 weeks it now does, on average. SMBs are faced with costs ranging from €150 to €20,000 per verification! It’s simply not fair. And, if things don’t change, it’s only going to become more difficult to get a truly sound verification: as new economic structures and entire new industries emerge almost overnight, along with the accompanying regulatory upheaval, this brave new world is going to need a new standard – one that is engineered to change. And Vespia is well on the way to becoming that standard.
Be here, now
Curious to see what we are building? Join our community of early adopters and be part of the future of business verification by signing up here.
We Vespians are a deeply nerdy team of experts who simply love what we do. Would you like to team up with us? We’re hiring!