Founders in Focus: Ranjan R Reddy of Bureau

Each month we’re highlighting one of the founders of Okta Ventures’ portfolio companies. You’ll get to know more about them and learn how they work with Okta. This month we’re speaking with Ranjan Reddy.

What is Bureau and what is your mission?

Bureau is ushering in a new era of frictionless, fraud-free transactions that deliver unprecedented trust and security to businesses and consumers alike. Our full-stack identity verification and fraud prevention platform protects, and accelerates onboarding, verification, and transactions—without introducing friction for the consumer. We have built a platform that takes the complexity out of identity verification, by tokenizing it behind a phone number, to let businesses focus on what matters most: growth

What were you doing prior to Bureau that led you to this moment?

I served as Chief Business Officer at Boku (LSE listed). I became obsessed with payments and fraud prevention well before Boku acquired my startup Qubecell in 2013. 

The premise of my obsession is simple: while in real life, we are innocent until proven guilty; online, we are all guilty until proven innocent. We constantly have to prove two things, both that we are who we say we are, and that we have good intentions. Whether you are a famous person or someone anonymous, every day is filled with countless moments asking you to prove you’re trustworthy.  

And as the pandemic uprooted our daily lives, and demand for safer options was more essential than ever, I founded Bureau. With a team of passionate and skilled tech leaders from Jio, Razorpay, Samsung, and more, we’re building a way to bring more businesses and consumers around the globe together to safely transact, effectively building the risk infrastructure for the next generation digital economy.

What is Bureau’s solution? What challenges does it solve? 

We take the complexity out of identity verification and risk prevention to let businesses focus on what matters most: the user journey. Using just a phone number, Bureau verifies each user’s identity and creates a risk profile based on third-party intelligence, behavioral biometrics, and across a growing consortium of merchants to create a unique multifaceted risk profile and score. Even operating in stealth, we’ve already verified over 12 million identities. 

Our no-code platform allows users to drag and drop custom risk rules, tailored to their industry needs, built from our consortium of intelligence. This provides breadth, depth, and flexibility in the use cases we can power, which includes authentication, fraud prevention (e.g., account takeover, promo abuse, synthetic identities, chargeback, and RTO) as well as transaction monitoring.

The real key to unlocking the potential of emerging digital markets is to take the burden of verification away from both the consumer and business owners, which we do via continuous verification of users' identities throughout their transaction journey. Bureau does that without adding friction or wait time that too often results in an abandoned cart or a lost sale. 

Our key differentiators include

  • One-API: Users are verified against 100+ data sources, using just a mobile number.
  • Complete identity orchestration: The benefits of identity with no-code workflows, and real-time risk decisions. 
  • Trusted network: Each validated customer—and there are already more than 12 million—is added to a growing consortium of merchants’ data that further strengthens the Bureau database.
  • Fraud risks guarantee: Bureau fully underwrites merchants’ fraud risks so that businesses can transact with trust, scale their business, and accelerate the digital economy in markets where lack of trust has limited opportunity.

Why did Bureau want to work with Okta?

Our core ethos is the same; enabling trusted and safe transactions for anyone, anywhere. Bureau’s dream is for a phone number to become the single source of identity and trust. But it can also be used by businesses to identify, verify and authorize users, and by users as a badge of trust to unlock any digital service.

Together, Bureau and Okta synergize to ensure full security for identity and access management for any SaaS or direct to consumer service; consecutively building trust across a global network.

How is Bureau working with Okta? What support do you look for in a corporate partner?

Our partnership is multifold. Internally, we use Okta SSO to manage secure user access in Bureau as a whole. Our data consists of highly sensitive and personal user data, so secure access management and identity is paramount.

With Okta and Auth0’s expertise in identity and access management unlock, we’re excited for the growth opportunities that connect our network of intelligence, risk management, and frictionless authentication methods. Both from a technological advancement and market opportunity perspective, the roadmap ahead is extremely promising. 

What trends do you expect to see in the identity and risk industry? 

The growth of digital economies is now global with Fintech, crypto, e-commerce, and on-demand growing at an astounding clip in markets such as India, Southeast Asia, and LatAm. This growth demands a robust, underlying risk infrastructure that can keep pace with next-generation innovation and scale. 

Especially in the wake of increasing data leaks and alarming incidences of identity theft, ensuring the trust and security of an identity will become a focal point for any business and every user. However, as additional layers of security envelop a platform, businesses will have to prioritize the user experience, so as not to sacrifice growth to friction. Balancing friction and financial health will be imperative.

Interested in joining Okta Ventures? Check out our FAQ here and feel free to reach out to our team or submit your business for review.