AngelList streamlines KYC process with Persona, paving the way for further growth

AngelList Venture switched from using multiple identity verification vendors to Persona, saving them time, money, and headaches — and making it easier to continue scaling.

Global watchlist checks in seconds rather than days

AngelList is the leading platform for investing in world-changing startups. For fund managers, AngelList provides a single platform for raising, deploying, and managing venture funds. For investors, AngelList offers everything needed to invest in top-tier startups, all in one place. In 2020, 51% of all top-tier U.S. VC deals were funded on AngelList. *

Problem: AngelList was juggling multiple vendors to satisfy KYC requirements and mitigate fraud, which was time-consuming and expensive

Before Persona, AngelList was using multiple vendors to verify investor identities. This process was expensive and very manual, as the vendors didn’t connect with each other. As a result, AngelList’s operations team was spending unnecessary time managing various aspects of the verification process.

“Fintech companies operate in a highly regulated environment that’s constantly changing,” says Jess Toy, product lead at AngelList. “We knew there was a good opportunity to streamline and automate our compliance process.”

At the same time, AngelList’s Transfers team was working with a different vendor to verify buyers and sellers on their liquidity platform. Their experience was just as frustrating, but for different reasons — it was expensive, hard to get clear timelines, and didn’t allow AngelList to pick and choose the features they wanted.

Additionally, the vendor took days to send results, which was potentially losing AngelList business. “It’s a sensitive industry. Deals need to move quickly, or else they’ll fall through,” explains Inderpal Singh, GM of Transfers at AngelList.

Solution: AngelList found a one-stop solution and partner for all of their current and future verification needs in Persona

AngelList knew they wanted a single solution that would not only meet their current verification needs, but also any future needs. They ultimately chose Persona for the following reasons:

Comprehensiveness and customization

AngelList has users all around the world and offers multiple services that require different levels of verification. When they saw Persona offers a wide range of verification options and would allow them to serve different flows to different users depending on their use case, they knew it would be a game changer. “There was no competition when it came to Persona’s breadth of services — no one else offered everything,” says Jess, who has evaluated numerous identity verification platforms throughout her career.

Consolidating vendors didn’t just simplify things for AngelList — it also saved them time, money, and headaches. With one vendor automating the bulk of the process, their operations team suddenly had a lot more time to focus on supporting their customers.

There was no competition when it came to Persona’s breadth of services — no one else offered everything.
Jess T.
Product lead at AngelList

A true partnership

Managing multiple IDV vendors presented logistical challenges. With Persona, AngelList gets one highly responsive, dedicated account team — and a joint Slack channel they can use to discuss questions and issues.

Even more, they appreciate Persona’s willingness to take feedback and iterate on the product based on their needs.

For example, when Inderpal mentioned his team wanted report results to look different to meet their compliance partners’ specifications, Persona quickly accommodated their request. “You all were great — now it looks exactly like we need it to. It’s a small change, but if a regulatory agency were to look, they’d understand.”

Speed

Time kills deals, so AngelList knew they needed to find a vendor that could help them verify users instantly. “Customers expect instant verification — your IDV vendor needs to be up to the task,” explains Jess.

Persona’s speed was especially pronounced compared to the vendor AngelList’s Transfers team was previously using to run watchlist reports, which would take days. “Persona was such a drastic improvement over waiting for days and not knowing when the verification would come back,” Inderpal shares. “We always had to worry about this, and Persona entirely removed that pain. We are now in control.”

Technical sophistication

As a forward-thinking fintech company, AngelList knew they wanted their ID vendor to be a technical culture match — an agile company that could match their quick pace. “We wanted to work with a modern company with a modern API,” explains Jess. “As a PM, I want the developers on my team to be excited about their work — and that means working with vendors who have a technology stack that’s easy to work with.”

AngelList ultimately chose to integrate via API, but Persona also makes it easy for companies to integrate in an afternoon — whether they have an engineering team or not. In addition to our thorough API documentation, we also offer a variety of flexible integration options, including a drop-in widget, hosted flow, and mobile SDK.

As a PM, I want the developers on my team to be excited about their work — and that means working with vendors who have a technology stack that’s easy to work with.
Jess T.
Product lead at AngelList

Results: With Persona, AngelList streamlined their verification process, making it easier to continue scaling

By switching to Persona, AngelList no longer has to manage multiple identity verification vendors — saving their team both time and money. “Everything’s in one place with Persona. It’s much simpler and streamlines everything,” Jess says.

More importantly, Persona’s streamlined UI and speed helped AngelList’s Transfers team improve their conversion rate, as users no longer had to wait days to finish onboarding. “We tripled conversions from Q3 to Q4,” Inderpal shares. “Persona definitely played a role in that.”

Going forward, AngelList knows Persona has them covered. As AngelList continues to expand and democratize angel investing, they’re excited that Persona will continue to evolve to meet their changing needs. “I feel confident that Persona will be able to support us as we continue to scale our business and serve more founders and investors,” says Jess.

I feel confident that Persona will be able to support us as we continue to scale our business and serve more founders and investors.
Jess T.
Product lead at AngelList

To learn more about how other businesses use Persona, contact us at info@withpersona.com.

* The percentage of top-tier U.S. VC deals inAngelList Advisors or SAX Capital advised funds' portfolios is based on third-party reports of top-tier VC firms' early-stage U.S.