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itsme raises €24.7 million to finance ambitious growth plans

Federal Holding and Investment Company (FPIM/SFPI) injects €14.5 million and takes a 20% share

For the first time since the launch of their identity app, the seven founders of itsme welcome a new shareholder: the Federal Holding and Investment Company (FPIM/SFPI). The government investment fund is investing €14.5 million in the Belgian identity app, taking a participation of 20%. Six other shareholders, all market leaders in banking and telecommunications, are also injecting extra funds, taking the total increase in capital to €24.7 million. These are important new steps along the way to a Europe-wide digital identity app. In Belgium, the app now has 3.5 million users. itsme was in the news again very recently as authentication means for the Belgian government’s app.

FPIM/SFPI becomes new shareholder

There are very few solutions in Europe that have the same extensive reach as itsme. In most cases, identity apps are limited to government initiatives, whereas itsme is a consortium of seven private companies: Belfius Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium, KBC Bank, Orange Belgium, Proximus and Telenet. They will now be joined by FPIM/SFPI, the Federal Holding and Investment Company. This government holding company is making an immediate capital injection of €14.5 million, which will give it a 20% share in itsme“It’s hard to imagine our society without itsme these days,” says Tom Feys, Chief Investment Officer of FPIM/SFPI“In just a short space of time, the app has taken on enormous social relevance for Belgians – plus it also has all the cards it needs to play a European role as well. Given the strategic importance of itsme for the government, as well as our aim to support Belgian champions with international aspirations, it was only logical that we should take our place at the itsme table.”As a new shareholder, the investment company aims to lend its support to the European ambitions of itsme. The Belgian identity app recently took its first steps into the Netherlandsand now also enables Dutch citizens to create an itsme account.

Extra capital injection

In addition to fresh capital of €14.5 million, six shareholders of the first hour have also decided to make an additional investment themselves. Belfius Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium, KBC Bank, Proximus and Telenet will each be injecting another €1.7 million into itsme. In doing so, their aim is to invest further in the growing ecosystem linked to the digital identity. Today, itsme enables users to identify themselves online, log in to websites, confirm transactions and sign documents digitally. However, there are all sorts of other new opportunities coming in the future. “The market for digital identities and digital wallets is of great strategic importance,” explains Michael Anseeuw, chairman of itsme“and the Covid-19 crisis has emphasised this even further. For instance itsme, with its strong focus on security and privacy, also has a role to play in the fight against online fraud and the sharing of data other than just your identity details. We believe it is very important to keep on investing in these fields and so we are particularly pleased to be able to welcome FPIM/SFPI as a shareholder.”

The total capital increase for itsme is €24.7 million, which is the highest amount in the still short history of the company. In April 2018, the existing shareholders also put €13.4 million into the company.

Corona passport

Since itsme was officially accredited by the government at the beginning of 2018, Belgians have been using it increasingly. In the meantime, the app has grown to 3.5 million users, with an average of 3,500 new ones signing up each day. “itsme is a very fine example of a public-private partnership that has created a huge ‘win-win’ for everyone involved,” says Stephanie De Bruyne, CEO. “With the addition of FPIM/SFPI this is also reflected in our shareholder structure. Belgium may only be a small country, but we can be very proud of the things we achieve.”

This can also be seen from the latest collaboration with the Belgian government, the app. Using this ‘corona passport’, Belgians can show that they have been vaccinated, or have had a negative PCR test, or have built up immunity. The app has only been available since Wednesday 16th June and already more than 1 million Belgians have logged into it via itsme.

“The additional success of the past 2 weeks has established itsme even more firmly in Belgian society,” concludes Stephanie De Bruyne. “At the same time, projects such as this demonstrate that itsme is more than ready to play a role on the international stage. We are delighted that the shareholders are backing our plans for growth and have reconfirmed their faith in us in such a convincing manner. I firmly believe that together we can write a particularly beautiful story.”

The latest figures:

In 2017, the seven market leaders in the banking and telecommunications sectors launched itsme, the benchmark app in Belgium for digital identification, authentication and signature. The progress itsme has made in barely four years speaks volumes. Some new figures:

  • Today, more than 3.5 million citizens use itsme to identify themselves online, confirm digital transactions and sign documents electronically.

  • Some 45% of the adult population in Belgium have already created an itsme account.

  • On average, Belgian use itsme between 7 and 10 times each month with 150 partners. That adds up to over 18.5 million itsme authentications per month, with both private companies and government portals.