February 13, 2024

The Onfido startup factory: Meet 11 employees-turned-founders

The UK-based identity verification startup has a growing list of alumni entrepreneurs

The Onfido team

When UK fintech Onfido announced it was in talks to be acquired last week, the company told Sifted that more than a dozen of its former and current employees were set to become millionaires. 

It’s the sort of payout that’s seen many a startup operator turn founder — and at least one ex-Onfido worker, former head of product Jeff Pole, set up his startup on the back of previous payouts from shares in the business.

If any newly-flush Onfido employees did decide to take the leap, they’ll be in good company among the startup’s growing cohort of alumni entrepreneurs. 


Like Babylon, Personio, Revolut, Adyen and Trade Republic, the identity verification startup is becoming something of a founders factory and Sifted has now tracked down 11 Onfido alumni-founder startups.

Unsurprisingly, some ex-Onfido employees have gone into the identity verification space, but there’s also a number of other fintechs, AI startups and a healthtech. 

Another notable takeaway from the list is that there’s few women on it, highlighting the wider gender diversity problem in the tech sector. Pay gap filings in 2023 found that 19 out of the UK’s 20 best-funded startups paid women less than men and just 3% of VC capital in Europe went to all-women founding teams last year.


Headshot of Afiya Chohollo against a white background
CloudFO founder Afiya Chohollo

Founded: 2022

Funding: Bootstrapped

HQ: London

CloudFO is a business finance management platform, using generative AI to help companies analyse and forecast performance metrics and budgets. The startup was founded by Afiya Chohollo, former VP of engineering at Onfido. 

CloudFO, which gained FCA approval early 2023 to connect directly to business bank accounts via open banking, is currently running pilots with some customers and raising its pre-seed round.

Go Boldly

Founded: 2023

Funding: Undisclosed 

HQ: Las Vegas

Go Boldly is a gamified financial management platform. It was founded by former Onfido partnerships lead Joseph Mahavuthivanij. The startup launched on app stores this month and Mahavuthivanij tells Sifted it could go out to raise VC capital this year.


Founded: 2022

Funding: $3m

HQ: San Francisco

Founded by former Onfido partnerships VP Alfy Louis, Iden2 is another identity verification platform. The startup is currently in the process of raising a $5m round. It has one customer which it generates the entirety of its $2m revenue from, says Louis.

Isla Health

A large group of people standing or kneeling on grass
The Isla Health team

Founded: 2019

Funding: $5m

HQ: London

Isla is a remote healthcare monitoring platform, allowing patients to share photos, voice recordings, videos and forms with medical professionals. It was founded by former Onfido head of product James Jurkiewicz.

The startup works with around 35 hospitals, in more than 40 healthcare areas and collects around 15k images and videos each week. Isla will go out to raise again towards the end of 2024, says Jurkiewicz

Kizuna Talent 

Founded: 2024

Funding: Bootstrapping

HQ: London

Kizuna helps recruiters screen job applications, and was founded by Onfido director of strategy Zara Yaqoob. She tells Sifted the startup has built its MVP and onboarded its first pilot customers. 


Magic ID

A headshot of Thanasis Mandaltsis. In the background is a room with wooden panels and plants.
Magic ID founder Thanasis Mandaltsis

Founded: 2022

Funding: £300k

HQ: London

Magic ID is an identity verification startup that helps companies provide users with a digital ID. It was set up by Onfido’s former government project lead Thanasis Mandaltsis. Mandaltsis tells Sifted that the startup recently came out of beta and has onboarded its first paying customers. Magic ID will begin raising its seed round in the summer of 2024.

Peak IDV

Founded: 2022

Funding: Bootstrapped

HQ: San Francisco

Founded by former Onfido head of enterprise product Steve Craig, Peak IDV is a learning platform for the digital identity industry. 


Founded: 2015

Funding: £4m

HQ: London

Pharmacierge is an online pharmacy service for private clinicians. It was cofounded by Edward Ungar, who served as Onfido’s chief commercial officer before leaving and backing the scaleup as an angel investor. 

The startup is backed by former Cazoo CEO Alex Chesterman and more than 80 independent doctors. Ungar tells Sifted that Pharmacierge has dispensed over 2.5m packets of medication to hundreds of thousands of patients across the UK.


Founded: 2022

Funding: £700k

HQ: London

Backed by Entrepreneur First, Notion Capital, Cur8 Capital, Quantly is an AI-driven insights platform for investors. It was founded by Ivan Kavalerov, former product manager at Onfido.


Founded: 2022

Funding: $2.4m

HQ: New York

Founded by former Onfido account director Danny Hakimian, Y Combinator-backed TrueBiz has built a platform that vets businesses’ activities. It helps financial services companies automate their review of the nature of a business by reviewing its entire web presence using custom trained LLMs.

Warden AI 

A headshot of Jeff Pole against a grey background
Warden AI founder Jeff Pole

Founded: 2023

Funding: Bootstrapped

HQ: London

Founded by former Onfido head of product Jeff Pole, Warden AI evaluates AI tools and products for safety and compliance, identifying risks like bias, inaccuracy, security and data privacy. Pole also worked for Onfido founder Kassai’s second startup,, an AI-driven learning platform.

Many of the startup’s early customers are AI-powered recruitment platforms, says Pole. “They use apps like ChatGPT to screen job applicants for how well their CV or profile is a fit for the job, but without the right measures in place, the AI will simply reinforce historical biases which is of course hugely detrimental to society,” he tells Sifted.

Pole tells Sifted that he’s been able to bootstrap the business thanks to the money he’s made from his Onfido stock options, and doesn’t have definite plans to raise external funds at the moment. 

Kai Nicol-Schwarz

Kai Nicol-Schwarz is a reporter at Sifted. He covers UK tech and healthtech, and can be found on X and LinkedIn