A Chat with Edward Goodchild, CEO and Co-Founder at Secure Identity Platform: Arbor Steel
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Arbor Steel is a secure identity platform developed to protect and share key sensitive information, which we’ve designed with flexible functionality to provide individuals and businesses better management over their data and privileged information. An all-encompassing digital identity citadel for customers, our design merges identity verification and authentication, workflow management, secure messaging and data storage.
This gives users safe custody and, crucially, control over their personal documentation when they interact with services that require access to their privileged information, such as healthcare, financial services, legal, education.
How did you come up with the idea for Arbor Steel?
My career as a wealth adviser saw me encounter numerous admin-based barriers for many years, which often caused disturbances to the client onboarding process.
My professional connections within the legal profession and wealth management are frustrated by the difficulty of onboarding new clients and communicating securely with existing clients. I realised that the KYC process was still making life difficult for clients.
Clients are being won but instead of immediate movement on their objectives, it can take months to collect all the necessary paperwork and get up to speed.
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How has Arbor Steel evolved over the last couple of years?
We bootstrapped in the beginning then entered an InnovateUK competition which saw us secure a £100,000 grant in 2020. Judges recognised the widespread risk of identity theft, which costs the UK economy an overwhelming £130bn each year, effectively validating the need for our offering.
Using that funding we built a fully operational product. Then in April 2022, we attracted a £200,000 investment from a single family office which will enable us to grow our revenues and service more clients. Our initial focus will be on customers in law and legal services firms who frequently feel the frustration of insecurely sharing duplicate information.
What can we hope to see from Arbor Steel in the future?
Our aim is to reach £1m in revenue within 18 months, and £5m within five years. We’re initially targeting lawyers and legal services firms but, as a sector-neutral platform, we have a route to expand into other markets that routinely require access to personal information including legal, healthcare, and education.
Our technology provides a wrap-around layer of security to users, including facial biometrics for inbound client verification through to outbound identity authentication. This provides customers with a secure platform from which they can verify and safeguard their identities with any organisation.
As such, we believe we can gradually move people and businesses away from the age-old and risky tradition of sharing valuable data, such as passport and driving licence scans and photos, via insecure, unencrypted emails. A complete and affordable solution to a very real security problem, Arbor Steel is on a mission to provide long-term improvements to consumer needs and corporate inefficiencies and we’re excited to get going!