Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Canada’s most-awarded
newsroom for a reason
Stay informed for a
lot less, cancel anytime
“Exemplary reporting on
COVID-19” – Herman L
per week
for 24 weeks
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Steve Munford, CEO of Trulioo.


A Vancouver online identity-verification provider backed by global financial services giants has raised one of the largest growth capital financings by a Canadian technology enterprise – and has joined Canada’s rapidly growing elite ranks of “unicorns.”

Trulioo information Services Inc. has inked a US$394-million financing, valuing the company at US$1.75-billion postfunding. Silicon Valley financier TCV led the deal, which was also backed by existing investors Blumberg Capital, Mouro Capital and the venture-capital arms of Citigroup Inc. and American Express Co.

About US$150-million will go to Trulioo while existing investors selling their stakes will receive the balance. Other Trulioo investors include Goldman Sachs Group , Banco Santander and Business Development Bank of Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

Startups that reach US$1-billion valuations are known as unicorns, although the implication that they are rare, mythical beasts is at odds with their raccoon-like proliferation in Canada. The list of new unicorns in the past year includes four other Vancouver companies, Galvanize Inc., AbCellera Biologics Inc., Themis Solutions Inc. (known as Clio) and Dapper Labs Inc. A fifth, Thinkific Labs Inc., reached that valuation after going public in April. At least eight other Canadian companies have become unicorns in that time.

“You’re seeing companies that are growing profitable, disrupting very large markets and you’re attracting best-in-class international investors to back them; that’s really exciting for Canada,” said Trulioo chief executive Steve Munford in an interview.

Trulioo is a rarity for a relatively young company, reaching $100-million in annualized revenues while still experiencing rapid growth of about 100 per cent and generating positive cash flows and profits. “To be at this size they’re at now and still be on that growth trajectory is rare,” said Trulioo director Andrew Lugsdin, who manages BDC’s investment through his Framework Venture Partners.

COVID-19 has accelerated people doing transactions online and you have a need for those parties to connect and get comfort with each other that they’re real.”

TCV general partner Jake Reynolds, whose company has backed Airbnb Inc. , Facebook Inc. , Netflix Inc. , Clio Infotech Ltd. and Wealthsimple, said its stake in Trulioo is its largest inaugural investment in a company.

“The golden triangle for investing is when you can find a very large market, an excellent management team and a company exhibiting significant momentum,” he said. “Trulioo has all three in spades. We don’t get a chance to find many situations where we can check all three boxes at initial investment in such an exciting market.”

Trulioo has the capability to confirm the identities of five billion people and verify 330 million companies. The 240-person company has more than 400 customers, including payments processors, online marketplaces, cryptocurrency exchanges and financial giants.

Story continues below advertisement

They use Trulioo’s GlobalGateway platform to access hundreds of data sources online including credit bureaus, government agencies and phone companies to confirm the identities of customers or voters and expose money launderers. Trulioo verifies identities within minutes, not the days or weeks traditional credit bureaus typically take.

“It’s a fact of life that the world is moving online rapidly and it’s going to require new tools and capabilities in order to do that effectively,“ Mr. Reynolds said. “Trulioo sits right in the middle of that.”

Friends Stephen Ufford and Tanis Jorge founded Trulioo in 2011 after building and selling three credit-information startups together. They were inspired to build an online identity verification platform to help people in developing countries sign up for accounts online and by Mr. Ufford’s cumbersome experiences securing bank and credit-card accounts when he lived in the U.S.

With the latest financing, Ms. Jorge and Lisa Stanton are leaving the board as Mr. Reynolds and another TCV representative join. Mr. Ufford, who is still a director, ceded the CEO position last spring to Mr. Munford, a 55-year-old Burlington native who has led public and private companies, including three other unicorns. Since joining, he has hired new chiefs of finance, revenue and technology with public markets experience.

With the accelerated shift to e-commerce during the pandemic, “all these [online] products need levels of authentication, which has been a real boon for us,” Mr. Munford said.

With the U.S. digital identity market projected by consulting firm One World Identity to exceed US$30-billion in two years, he said Trulioo is still “in the early innings” of its growth. Mr. Munford added that Trulioo is looking to invest in building out an “end-to-end” identity platform and may acquire other companies if they can help fill gaps in its product offering.

Story continues below advertisement

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies