It’s easy, in this day and age, to take marketing for granted. However, today we’re catching up with Dean Nicolls,VP of Marketing at Jumio, who has shown the value of marketing by writing eloquently and at length, sharing the success which Jumio has enjoyed since winning the Mobile Trailblazers Award last year – check out Jumio in the list of last year’s winners here.
Could you give me a brief description of your company and what your focus is?
Jumio is the leader in AI-powered ID verification, completing more than 300,000 ID verifications daily and over 130 million verifications to date. Jumio quickly and accurately verifies the authenticity of an ID, a document, or real-world identity in seconds—not hours or days—helping businesses optimize conversions, deter fraud, and meet compliance mandates (Anti-Money Laundering, Know Your Customer, and GDPR).
Jumio enables a fast, seamless customer experience; all the customer needs is access to a smartphone or webcam to capture a picture of their government-issued ID and a selfie (to make sure the person behind an online transaction is the owner of that ID). While other verification solutions rely completely on automation to check IDs, Jumio uses a unique hybrid approach. In addition to machine learning, biometric facial recognition, artificial intelligence, eyeball and computer vision technologies, Jumio also leverages human verification experts who can detect fraud and verify blurry/high glare ID images that computer algorithms often miss.
Winning the Tech Trailblazers award has helped our company immensely because it was one of the biggest awards to recognize our technology last year.
How has winning the Tech Trailblazers award helped you?
Winning the Tech Trailblazers award has helped our company immensely because it was one of the biggest awards to recognize our technology last year. Since then, we have been recognized multiple times for our product innovation, including being named Best Product in Biometrics and Hot Company in Fraud Prevention by the 2018 InfoSec Awards, the winner in the Best Authentication Technology category by the 2018 SC Awards, and awarded the Gold winner in Information Security and Risk Management (and Bronze winner for Security Software) in the 13th Annual 2018 IT World Awards. Jumio was also included as a Representative Vendor in the “Market Guide for Identity Proofing and Corroboration”, published by Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company.
The award also contributed to our business growth, as it brought more validation to our brand and technology. Our company recently recorded its best sales quarters in company history in Q2 2018, as sales grew by more than 200% year-over-year for three of its last four quarters. Jumio has also recorded quarter-over-quarter sales growth nine of the last ten quarters, showing a market demand for this identity management solution in this market.
What words of encouragement would you give to a company which is weighing up whether to enter the Awards?
The benefits of winning the Trailblazer Award far exceed any costs during the application process. One of the obvious benefits is that it forces you to sit down and articulate your value proposition and the uniqueness of your technical innovation. This is a rare opportunity to take a few moments to reflect on our businesses and the value we deliver to our customers.
The benefits of winning the Trailblazer Award far exceed any costs during the application process.
For Jumio, actually winning the award comes with its own set of benefits. Last year, Jumio was fortunate enough to win the Mobile Trailblazers Award. We are fiercely proud of this award because of all the development cycles we’ve invested into our mobile platform of online identity verification. The award is especially meaningful to us because it’s a global award and focused on enterprise-class technology in the areas of AI, blockchain, infosecurity, mobile, and cloud. Likewise, the judges who evaluate all the nominations are thought leaders in their own right, so getting their stamp of approval is high praise and validation that we’re on the right path. We’re proud to add this award logo to our website and all of our presentation decks as testimony to our commitment to cutting-edge technology.
Are there any tips you could give a company to help them with entering the awards?
First of all, pick the right and most relevant award category. This may be a no-brainer, but we could have actually applied for several and decided to focus on the Mobile Trailblazer Award. Next, you need to find ways to showcase your solution and clearly demonstrate what sets it apart from your competition—and this includes providing concrete evidence that demonstrates market traction for your solution. Make sure to describe how your customers benefit and don’t just highlight the underlying tech. That said, don’t forget to highlight why the underlying tech is so cool and different to anyone else in the market. These judges are looking at lots of entries in each category, so help them out by crystallizing your value proposition, pumping up your technology, and simplifying your responses.
Do you have any advice in general for start-up companies, trying to survive in the current economic climate?
Startups need to focus maniacally on serving a very well-defined target market with a well-defined set of use cases. Too many startups say “yes” far too often without reflecting how much of a distraction they will amount to down the road. Focus on landing a few good customers who will evangelize and sing your praises. Work on meeting their functional and technical needs, support them ruthlessly, and then look for more customers just like them. In today’s economic environment, good news travels fast …bad news travels faster.
Focus on landing a few good customers who will evangelize and sing your praises.
I would also invest heavily in content marketing that shows your expertise in serving that market, that need, and that use case. So much selling now takes the form of prospective buyers educating themselves online about specific technologies. If you can be found during this online investigation (what Google calls the “Zero Moment of Truth”) you have a decent shot of being in the conversation and on the shortlist, if your content is focused on educating (and not selling).
If this sounds like Crossing the Chasm, then so be it. But, startups need that kind of unwavering focus to success and grow.
How is the future looking for you? What’s next for you?
2018 has been a phenomenal year and 2019 looks even brighter.
Naturally, you’d expect us to say that. But, our growth this year has been noteworthy, especially given where we’ve been. A recent Forbes article (Eduardo Saverin-Backed Jumio Rises From the Ashes to Attack Rivals in $10B Market) documented our growth: “Top line growth rates are strong. Bookings from the third quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017 were $26 million. Between the third quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018 bookings were $91 million. Annual recurring revenues [were up 289%] from $18 million in the second quarter of 2016 to $70 million in the second quarter of 2018.” We’re exceedingly proud of this!
2018 has been a phenomenal year and 2019 looks even brighter.
This growth has been fueled by a number of factors. Traditional forms of user authentication, such as knowledge-based authentication and two-factor authentication, have fallen out of favor as being insecure and unreliable. Mainstream data breaches have exposed considerable amounts of personal information that is being bought and sold on the dark web. Increasing regulations, including Know your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), GDPR, and the California Consumer Privacy Act are increasingly mandating that organizations know who their customers really are and protect that data at all costs. Meanwhile, more and more of us are transacting business and setting up accounts online (without walking into a store or branch office) and that’s making it challenging for businesses to trust that someone is who they claim to be online.
We’ve continued to expand internationally and added a new Singapore sales office earlier this year and just this month, we launched Jumio AI Labs in Montreal, dedicated to the creation, experimentation and at-scale deployment of machine learning and deep learning technologies. We’ve fortified our team with multiple executive hires, expanded the use cases we serve, and focused on delivering a better, faster customer experience.
Finally, companies are turning to Jumio to lower their abandonment rates and increase their online conversion rates by delivering a simple, familiar experience—an experience that customers like AirBnB, Coinbase, and United Airlines are making mainstream. While fraud detection and compliance requirements are important buying criteria, our customers increasingly want to design the best possible user experience for new user onboarding (and verifying the customers behind high risk transactions) that establish a much high level of assurance and mutual trust.
It’s that trust that will fuel our growth in 2019 and beyond.