Founders in Focus: Marshall Pribadi of Privy

Welcome to our Founders in Focus series, where each month we highlight one of the founders of Okta Ventures’ portfolio companies. You’ll learn more about them and how they work with Okta. This month, we’re getting to know Marshall Pribadi, founder and CEO of Privy.

What is Privy, and what is your mission? What is the Privy solution? What challenge does it solve?

Founded in 2016, Privy is bridging the trust gap in the digital ecosystem by providing services, such as digital identity verification (eKYC), certified digital signatures for signing documents, and document management systems. Privy is the market leader in Indonesia that processes digital signing with legally binding signatures for more than 75 million documents per year, with more than 37 million verified individual users and more than 2,000 enterprises in our ecosystem.

Our vision is to provide a digital ecosystem where everyone can conduct safe digital transactions by providing trust to minimize the risks for everyone.

The digital ecosystem grows at an unprecedented rate, and it is inevitable for everyone to gradually conduct their daily activities digitally. The anonymous and borderless nature of the digital ecosystem needs trusted digital infrastructures such as a secure cloud database, data privacy, verified digital identity, and certified digital signatures as the backbone of trust in the system.

Therefore, independent digital verification is necessary to ensure that the person or institution you are interacting with in the digital world is indeed the same person or institution in the real world, hence minimizing the risks of the digital ecosystem.



What were you doing before Privy that led you to this moment?

Prior to founding Privy, I worked as a legal manager for a payment gateway company that operated in eight countries. I experienced difficulty when acquiring merchants as clients. The conventional process for client onboarding requires a face-to-face KYC process, which is logistically challenging and time consuming. At the time, I thought there must be a better way to do KYC electronically when we don’t need to do face-to-face meetings.

Who have you created Privy for?

Privy brings Privilege to everyone. You don't need to be a private banking customer to open accounts from the convenience of your home. You don't need to travel with piles of documents and wait for the boss or clients to collect their signatures. Our trusted identity and legally binding digital signatures enable transactions to be made securely anytime and anywhere.

What innovations are you bringing to the market?

The world is changing, and the way we interact with each other is no exception. Prior to digitalization, and when the world was still in its early stage of literacy, people met face to face to discuss and write down any discussion and agreement. The written document then would have been signed with either parties’ fingerprints or wet signatures, and sometimes they stamped and sealed the documents.

The digital transition has changed the way we conduct our activities, including interacting with other people, writing letters, signing documents, and conducting financial transactions. People began to write and send letters electronically at the beginning of digital adoption. Exchanging email addresses became the norm instead of writing physical letters and going to the post office to send them to physical addresses. As digital adoption progresses, there have been many cases when people receive spam and “fake” emails from people they do not know and possibly imposters.

The risk of digital interaction increases when it comes to important interactions and transactions, which usually contain a monetary value. How do you know for sure and trust the person you are interacting with? You can’t! Unless there is a third party who is trusted by both parties to conduct identity verifications. Our innovation is to provide trust in the digital ecosystem, whereby someone’s identity is verified at the highest level of security. Privy is a Rooted Certificate Authority of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics of the Republic of Indonesia. As a Rooted CA, Privy has a cooperation agreement with the Directorate General of Population and Civil Registration under the Ministry of Homeland Affairs to conduct identity verification, which includes demographic and biometric data to issue a digital certificate for each verified individual user.

Why did Privy want to work with Okta?

Privy shares the same vision as Okta: Together, we can create a digital ecosystem where everyone can safely use any technology by providing secure access for everyone.

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

Privy’s strategic collaboration with Okta will enable each other to strengthen the implementation of our shared vision. Privy provides certified digital identity with verified electronic certificates at the highest level of verification for Indonesian citizens. Meanwhile, Okta’s authentication and seamless service will add value to Privy users.

What trends do you expect to see in the cybersecurity industry?

As the world transitions more and more into the digital space, cybersecurity will become increasingly important in the future. Governments around the world have recognized the importance of cybersecurity and implemented measures such as data protection regulation, IT operational regulation, and the use of artificial intelligence to increase cybersecurity levels amidst increased cyberattacks and risks. In the next 10 years, we will likely see more sophisticated authentication methods such as biometric data. Meanwhile, we will also likely see higher risks of cyberattacks using artificial intelligence.

Therefore, the demand and spending of cybersecurity is likely to increase because cybersecurity will become an essential budget line and, in many cases, now represents an organization’s license to trade in both the public and private sectors. However, the more fundamental challenge we will face is the shortage of skilled labor in the cybersecurity industry to meet the future demand.

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