Tackling the Online Identity Industry with Kvalifika Software. The Founder Story.
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Identity verification has become a massive trend in recent years. The pandemic from 2020 was the turning point for the entire industry - it accelerated the procedure of offering services online, which needs more security and reliable systems from the service providers. Companies need easy solutions to make sure that everything is secure and they eliminate the risks.

Kvalifika is an enterprise-grade identity verification software with seamless integration in minutes.

We asked the questions about the whole story behind the product to our CEO - Gabriel Meliva. He told us all about the founder journey, challenges, and future plans of the company. The conversation was very engaging, and we would like to share all about it in this article. 

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The founding team of Kvalifika

Four co-founders Gabriel, Beka, Giga, and Dato, started building the company in November 2019. They had a huge experience working in the startup field. They knew each other from various projects and decided to team up and work on the new interesting projects. After researching and testing different products, they found out that there was no proper solution that would help companies onboard their clients and verify them in a short amount of time. That’s how they started building the product, and already in a couple of months, they onboarded and started working with the first client. Currently, Kvalifika has nine people in the team, and they plan to expand on new markets and grow their team.

As I mentioned, the interview with the founder was very interesting. Enjoy!

How would you describe Kvalifika in the simplest way?

Kvalifika is a self-service identity verification solution that can be integrated into any platform within minutes. This system helps our users start identifying customers in a matter of seconds. 

We aim to make a verification platform where users will have a chance to customise their own verification system according to their needs - our product will let them make a unique Identification Flow and integrate that anywhere it's needed. This approach will help our customers make the verification part of their service and quickly identify their customers. 

We offer several services to our customers. Our main products include:

Our customers can easily manage the whole system on the Dashboard, which is customisable and helps companies build the verification flow in their own ways according to their preferences. 

The Kvalifika product has had lots of successful use cases since we launched it. For example, it can be useful for lawyers to identify their potential clients through our platform. Or contractors that want to receive the valid information from the customer. This customisable system can be helpful in several cases, but we want to add more functionality and diversify our product. The new features can include KYC questionnaires, which can be useful for financial institutions, insurance companies, or online payment systems. 

On a global scale, we would like to bring the no-code verification platform, which will help online businesses easily integrate our solution into their platform and build their own verification flow. The plan is to let users generate the link for verification and send it wherever it is needed.

Tell us about the Founder Story of Kvalifika. How did you come across this idea?

We decided to start building a business together from the beginning of 2019. The idea was to create an international scalable tech startup that would solve problems and fit into global needs. For around six months, we researched and tried to understand what projects we could work on and what would have the best outcome. 

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Gabriel Meliva. The CEO and Co-founder of Kvalifika

During that time, I was working with one of the banks in Georgia, where I helped with projects related to Digital Transformation. There I realised that companies needed solutions that would make their onboarding procedure easier. We immediately started researching this topic and saw a couple of companies offering online verification services, but none of them offered what the market actually needed. That's how we started building the identity verification software. 

We continued researching and developing this idea. As a result, we launched the product in March 2020 and started working with the first customers. 

What were the main challenges you’ve faced during building the Kvalifika?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve had from the beginning was to make sure that we were delivering the service that companies needed during that time on the market. 

When we started offering our services, multiple other companies popped up, claiming that they were doing the same thing. So there was a big competition, which pushed us to lower the prices for our services. The challenge, in this case, was to prove that it is essential to look for quality when choosing the verification service provider for your company. For that, we worked with regulators and tried to solve this issue. Finally, we had a positive result, which had a great impact on our operations. This move proved to our potential clients that we do everything with international standards.

Another big challenge was to get international investors on board and get funded. In the beginning, we started with bootstrapping. Getting clients and proving that our service was needed gave us the possibility to concentrate on this project full-time. Now we need investors to expand on new markets and discover fresh business opportunities. We know that our product is valid and performs as well as any other big international players on this market. We aim to develop the product in such a way that we will find a proper market fit in various local areas and target the specific use cases, which will positively affect our sales. For that, we are still in the development phase and preparing relevant plans.  

Currently, 70% of the local market is ours. We successfully work with 20+ companies, which include 9 banks and other international organisations. Our plans are pretty ambitious. 

What has been the impact for you to participate in the Startup Accelerator programs? 

Since we started our startup journey with Kvaliafika, we managed to participate and finish two global startup accelerators successfully. The first one was Berkeley Skydeck from San Francisco, where we managed to be the first Georgian company to participate in their program for TOP 50 chosen teams worldwide. It gave us outstanding mentorship, valuable contacts, and a reliable network. 

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500 startups Accelerator program

Another accelerator we participated in was the 500 Startups, where we managed to get into the final TOP 5 teams, which was an amazing result. In this case, we had more intense training sessions and communication with mentors every day, where they shared the best practices and know-how to be successful in this field. It definitely gave us great insights into building a successful and scalable tech company, and we are grateful for the chance to be part of it. These experiences also helped us boost our confidence and validate our business model effectively with our international partners.

Tell us about your future plans.

Eventually, we would like to grow the company, expand the team, and explore new markets with new business opportunities. For that, we are working daily and trying to find our niche that would help us accomplish our mission more effectively. We have a close look at the trends of this market and always try to catch up with news on the global level. We believe that many companies worldwide will benefit from the services we offer as verifying customers is becoming more and more essential for online businesses. 

In order to successfully achieve that, we should offer technologically advanced and up to date solutions to our customers. The goal is to make the verification procedure as smooth as possible for everyone. The success of our product would be the core factor of our effective growth.

Finally, what would be your message to the young entrepreneurs who are just entering this field and want to create something big?

Here in Kvalifika, we strongly believe that verification will be a standard in the future for a lot more online services than it is now. This field is very interesting, and it is worth exploring in many directions. Our advice for anyone who wants to jump into this field would be that it is essential to find your niche and develop the product that would help companies know more about their customers - building a successful startup company is very hard, and it needs a lot of consistent work.