“IDnow is not a start-up anymore…”

by Jacqueline Arlt, Senior Recruiting Manager 

During the last couple of years, IDnow has been growing exponentially, not just in its number of employees, but also concerning market share and global expansion.

Today, we tend to look at IDnow as a scale-up, rather than a start-up. There are a few key differences between those two notations: A start-up is highly experimental with short product and engineering iteration cycles. They are often in the early stages of the funding cycle and haven’t yet figured out which processes work best for them, e.g., in Sales or Marketing. On the contrary, over the course of the last couple of years, IDnow has validated the main building blocks for accelerated growth: product-market fit, a proven go-to-market strategy in its core DACH region, as well as an established business model.

  • To be able to ensure the product-market-fit, it is not only essential to understand the market needs, but also how to satisfy those needs in the best possible way: we have proven that our product suite is beneficial to a lot of companies and we completely validated its distribution channels. This is true not only for the financial services sector but also for other market segments like mobility, gaming or insurance.
  • In October 2019, we concluded our series C funding round with Corsair Capital LLC as the leading investor. Since then, we have invested in further developing our growth plans – for example, we opened up offices in London and Paris for our 10 colleagues being based in the UK and France. In addition to that, we concentrated on sharpening our technology and on scaling up our team.
  • IDnow set out to hire a strong pool of talent. Instead of hiring all-rounders, we started advertising for more focused roles, so that we could boast an array of experts joining across different departments. Moreover, we concentrated on enhanced delegation in hiring department heads and team leads.
  • At IDnow, we have an established onboarding process. All new starters take part in a number of sessions with every single department to get fully immersed into the IDnow team. This way, they get introduced to our company culture and mission to make the connected world a safer place. On top of this, all new starters get assigned two buddies – one within the respective department and one from another team – who will support them during the onboarding process.
  • Marketing also plays a major role during the scale-up phase. One has to find the right balance between efficiency and volume – plus dive deep into the data and look at the various channels in their entirety. Our Business Intelligence team is playing a key role in enabling the commercial teams to review dashboards each week and, in turn, measure performance.

While focusing on growth the majority of the time, it’s still important to develop the organization in a healthy manner. With some of the changes last year, we put the company’s management on a broader footing. Now we are working with the next level of leadership to empower and enable them to take the company to the next level as a scale-up. The last couple of months have also seen a strong focus on building a comprehensive and robust reporting grid for both operational and financial key performance indicators. Given the complexities of our business in terms of products, technology, and business model, it’s key to perform an in-depth analysis to be able to base decisions and strategies on it.

One of the questions we get asked in pretty much every interview is, “What’s it like working for IDnow?” In short, the culture is really open and collaborative – if you need help, you will find at least a handful of colleagues being there to answer any question you have, and it’s really fun working together. Even though we now have around 130 employees within the core team, everyone still knows each other by name, thanks to the close-knit culture IDnow displays. This isn’t just within the respective team but also between different departments – and even with colleagues based in different locations – thanks to after-work events, workouts and interdisciplinary projects. By now, we have a lot of processes and structures in place, but nothing is set in stone – if you have an idea and want to try a different course of action, then you don’t have to wait weeks for the approval. The management is highly responsive and open, so if you are up for it, you can easily make a great impact at IDnow. Even though we are not a start-up anymore, we have held on to the most important characteristics of it. We want to keep the atmosphere of a young, agile business, and continue to combine it with the benefits of an established company. What’s next for IDnow – what are we working toward?

“The current challenge is to accomplish the scaling phase in a healthy and successful way. IDnow is well-known and established in the DACH region – we have a comprehensive customer portfolio and strong market access. Now we are focusing on the mission to expand this success and the company’s footprint to other markets and industries whilst broadening our product portfolio – we aim to be scalable, replicable and projectable. Therefore you need an experienced and passionate team that’s able to grow in an efficient way,” says Andreas Bodczek, CEO.


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