The European Startup Show

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My guest today is Kaarel Kotkas, Founder & CEO of Veriff. Kaarel is a 25-year-old Estonian entrepreneur, whose online identity verification start-up Veriff is set to be the next tech ‘unicorn’ or billion-dollar company coming out of Estonia. Today’s short 30-minute podcast is jampacked with so much wisdom - like how they were able to raise money in less than a month, why YCombinator took them to United States, and some of the early foundations he laid with an obsession over his first few customers, having a no-compromise hiring approach and an emotional belief in a big mission. Fascinating to hear and so inspiring!

Show Notes

On Veriff
  • [01:20] Could you tell a little about how and why you started Veriff?
  • [03:53] What shortcoming did you notice in the current solution that made you think you could do something different and better than what existed?
  • [6:42] How are fintech companies with their legacy systems able to use your new advanced verification system?

Growing your business
  • [8:20]How did you go to your first ten to hundred customers? What did you prioritize in those initial stages? 
  • [12:38] How did you do employer branding to attract good talent from all over the world?
  • [14:10] So far what are you most proud of doing in how you’ve built Veriff?
  • [15:30] How do you hire at Veriff?
  • [17:16] In hindsight, what would you do differently? 
  • [19:00] What helped you secure funding from people like the founder of TransferWise to tier 1 investors like Accel, beyond the basics?
  • [23:11] What motivates you? Did you always have an entrepreneurial streak or did you fall into this? 

Links:
Veriff

Books:
The Little Prince

What is The European Startup Show?

To inspire technology entrepreneurs in Europe with stories and practical strategies from other successful entrepreneurs.

If you are a CEO, founder, or work in sales or marketing, and your company is based in Europe or is looking to expand into Europe, then this podcast is for you.