CEO SERIES Episode 1:
A Conversation with Socure CEO Johnny Ayers
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John: Good afternoon everyone, I really appreciate people taking their time out here. This is the ffVC CEO series, and I am very chuffed, very pleased today to have the opportunity to chat with Johnny Ayers, who's the CEO of Socure. Firstly, I wanna introduce Johnny to folks. Firstly, I'd never met a better salesperson.

Socure is a deeply technical company with regard to fraud, authenticity, identity verification and no one knows more about this space than Johnny. And I'm not gonna describe the company because I can't do it justice. But I can tell you that, Johnny has co-founded the company, he's built this company up from bare bones to being a unicorn.

Yet another New York unicorn, they used to be incredibly rare, they're becoming less rare now. And it's really exciting to have been part of the journey so far, and I really wanna have an opportunity to explore with Johnny how he sort of sees the future of the company, and how he got the company to where it is.

But Johnny, maybe you could give a little background on yourself and then we'll jump into some Q&A if that's good.

 

Johnny: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much for having me, John certainly appreciate the kind words and compliments. Certainly, you've seen us since the early days, I think you lead our A in 2014. As with most startups we have our own unique nonlinear path.

Yeah, so we started the company in 2012 with this idea, right, that you could use the wealth of the Internet and kind of all these new identities that were being created across the web. And combining it with graph analytics, combining it with the newest form of machine learning, we believed that we could create the future of identity verification and fraud prediction on the Internet.

And so, Neil and I had a crazy idea at the time. Certainly, his background had been a lot more on identity than mine. But I think we had this vision of attacking this problem very differently than the folks of yesteryear and a lot of the legacy solution providers, and it appears our theories were correct.

So thanks again for having me, I'm excited to be here today.

 

John: Look, security is rapidly becoming the digital identity disruptor in the industry, can you talk about what digital identity is? Why it's important? And just the TAM, the market opportunities growing rapidly now. And what really differentiates Socure in their solution versus the incumbents?

 

Johnny: Absolutely, a couple of different things to unpack there. So as I think about digital identity there's kinda three big buckets. The first bucket is around proofing and it's kind of verification of the identity. The second is around authentication, and the third is around authorization of payments. We really play in those first two buckets, which is, is this a real identity, right, like, “does John exist from a regulatory perspective?”

And then is this actually John presenting his identity at an application out of transaction, some monetary account change, at a wire? Those are the really kind of two key places where Socure sits within the digital identity ecosystem. I think why we've had such success, is the approach that we took was not one of, we're gonna be an email provider, or a phone provider, or a device provider.

We actually took a different approach to the problem, which was focused on what clients are actually hiring us to solve. Which was, we just wanna know if this is John or not and if I should do business with him for this application or transaction. And by taking that approach, everything we did in feature engineering, and model development, and data testing was focused on that problem.

And eight years later, we've now built the most comprehensive solution that looks at all dimensions of a consumer's identity. And is what really enables us to replace the big legacy, Experian, LexisNexis incumbents, that folks have used for the last 20 years. We just got issued another patent, I think we have five patents, six patents now.

So there's obviously a lot of underlying technology related to data ingestion, related to our binary classification pipeline, related to how we do identity clustering. So there's a lot of very geeky things that our brilliant team has had to solve. But I think as you think about product-market fit, we really focused on the thing that clients were hiring us for, and really focused on being the best at that.

And that's been a huge kind of foundation of the success that we're having.

 

John: And just give us an example of some of your larger clients, just give us some names.

 

Johnny: So obviously, we sit in a fraud and governance risk compliance world, so unfortunately, of our 450 customers we don't have permission to state, many of our largest ones-

 

John: Well, so, I know some of them you can talk about.

 

Johnny: Yeah, publicly we've done work with DraftKings. We just announced our deal with DraftKings last week to be a core part of their KYC and AML for new accounts, obviously they're growing crazy fast.

Chime, which is the fastest growing largest neobank. Folks in New York, other spectacular New York companies - Public.com, we do a ton of work with them; Stash Invest, we do a ton of work with them. Varo who just got the first big neobank to get that charter. And yeah, so a number of big kind of Internet first banks, but we also have three of the top five banks, seven of the top ten issuers, some of which have have now invested in the company as well.

 

John: I'm just gonna pick the name of a random bank and I'm not asking you to say that they're your customer. But say, someone like Citibank, or Wells Fargo, or Capital One, these are very large institutions who have not only large databases, but data farms and they spend billion dollar plus on IT.

Why is it they need Socure and they need to pay you millions of millions of dollars a year, as opposed to being able to do it themselves? What's the thing that they don't have that you do?

 

Johnny: Yeah, I think there's a focus, right, where Socure has gone very deep on this identity problem.

And a lot of these institutions John, if we're 3% better than they are, in terms of false positive reduction, that can mean $80 million of new customer value. So when we talk about improvements, for many of these large providers, if we can just help them say yes to 3%, 4%, 5% more customers, the dollars are enormous.

 

John: And it's a delta of 3, 4 or 5%?

 

Johnny: Yeah, so generally, in terms of our ability to open more accounts for very analytical and sophisticated folks that are already optimizing for the tails pretty aggressively, it's usually about 4, 5, 6%. For folks that are less mature, or less kind of analytically astute, or less kind of robust in their tools, it could be as high as 20 or 25%.

And the way that we're able to do that, John, so that's like the business case, right? How does a top ten bank justify spending $5 million a year with us? That's generally how. The way that we do that, though, is we've been a child of this machine learning wave, right?

We've been a child of cloud native, multi-tenant, cloud-based offering. Where Socure across our 400 plus customers - we're able to learn across a massive data set that is multiple times larger than Chase or B of A or Capital One or Citi are individually. And so even at Verizon, at 100 million accounts, that's less than a third of the entire US adult population, right?

And so our ability to see good identities, bad identities, attack vectors, fraud rings, at scale in a multi-tenant kind of service, this is enabling us to learn patterns and see good identities that a telco, a gaming company, a virtual healthcare, even a state or a public sector entity, potentially has never seen before.

And so as we get this massive amount of performance data, who's good, who's bad, we're able to feature engineer off it. We're able to model off of it in a way that allows us to learn so much faster and with a much broader lens than any individual institution could do alone.

And basically, what they've statistically found is that our signal and our view, their signal and their view, right, aren't perfectly correlated. And the combination of our solution and their solution together is actually what helps them make the most accurate decisions, deliver the best customer experience. And obviously, provide the least amount of fraud exposure for their institution.

 

John: And why is it other startups haven't caught on to this and haven't caught up?

 

Johnny: Yeah, so with many machine learning problems, it's a bit of an academic trial and error exercise. I mean, you invest in the company on the back of some very early, Kabbage, Festi, Zoom, like really early analytical folks that have a large need for data.

I mean, in the early days, we started with heuristics, we then moved to custom models. We then started getting into some generic models. And now we have generic models at scale to hundreds of customers. It took years and years of data testing, of tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, tweaking, and so I think we have a pretty large head-start.

I think that's one. Two, I think that we have a big data acquisition budget, and so it's not an inexpensive endeavor. And three is I think there are folks that have tried to nip at our ankles, if you will. But there's the old adage of you have to be ten times better to actually rip out the incumbent.

And so at this point, we're not finding any startup that's coming anywhere close to even beating us, let alone beating us by multiples. And so once we're in a lot of these institutions, I've used the analogy, we're actually jack hammering the incumbent's cement and placing our own cement.

Where we expect to be the partner for a lot of these institutions for the next 10, 15, 20 years.

 

John: Was it the fact that you're becoming the gold standard that was so attractive to Accel to lead this round? Because they came in to lead this round, I know the round closed to be bigger than you expected, but it was way over-subscribed as well.

I mean, at ffVC, we now and then get another later stage VC, say, that's kind of an interesting company. We got seven incoming, saying, can we talk to the company? Can you help us? Can we buy secondary stock? There was just a tremendous amount of interest around this round.

What do you think changed? What's getting Accel excited? And what sort of changed about the company?

 

Johnny: Sure, yeah, so I think there's a few things. One, there's actually a term in venture capital around escape velocity. And I believe we're getting to the point where we're winning almost every deal.

We have referenced customers, we have the statistics, and we can just build business cases based on the monetary value that we deliver to our customers. And so I think there's just a win rate that I think has gotten folks really excited. I think there in the COVID world, you basically had five to seven years of digital transformation get jammed into a 12 month period.

So the growth rates of the total addressable market in government, e-signature, buy-now pay-later, crypto, online gaming, cannabis, alcohol, on-demand delivery, the rate in which these verticals grow, all of which need and require what we do. I think that's kind of the second bucket that got folks really, really excited.

 

John: So you've kind of became the default play on this COVID acceleration?

 

Johnny: Yeah, I mean, I think that if you look across all of the things that happen when things moved from in person to digital or mobile, there's like a long list of tools.

You need infrastructure, you need storage, you need remote customer support. And you need the ability to onboard and service your customers fully remotely. And not just your customers, but we have employers, right? Think about big employers - Google, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, they're having onboard tens of thousands of employees totally remote.

And so there was just all these new use cases that had a demand or need for what Socure was providing. And I think that there's been a lot of companies in the space that have said similar things that have just been not really trying to build a big company, right?

I'm not saying an exit of a couple hundred million dollars is a bad exit, but I think when we looked at Socure, and we looked at the market opportunity, we looked at what we built. We looked at the talent that we have, we look at the incredible partners and customers that are innovating with us.

There's just a huge, huge opportunity in market need for what we solve and I think that's gotten a lot of obviously talent and people that have joined Socure really excited. But per your question, it had a lot of new investors and obviously as you saw with our existing investors there was a massive demand and a massive interest for stock at this price.

 

John: If you take a large customer and you're fully deployed deep in each of the products thereby, how big that sort of revenue amount could you expect to get from them in a given year?

 

Johnny: Yeah, that's a great question. In the early days, right, most of these are 3, 4, or $5 million deals.

So I think at scale you're probably closer to $15mn per year.

 

John: It's funny, I always say to go public you really want a SaSS company that can generate a million dollars in revenue from a customer. Yeah, because you put 50 of those together and that's 50 million, and now you can start thinking about going public.

 

Johnny: Yep.

 

John: Your large customers are running 10 to 15 times bigger than that when fully deployed. And your churn in terms of dollars, can I share that number?

 

Johnny: Sure, yeah.

 

John: It's somewhere around about negative 160%. So if you book $100 in year one, in year two it should be $160.

And that compounds, based on data we've seen over the last few years. So when you put that together, one has to wonder, how long we need to wait before you start thinking about allowing the public to share in this growth.

 

Johnny: Yeah, it's a great question, I think from our side going public is just a financing event.

 

John: And a branding event.

 

Johnny: And branding, absolutely yeah. And I think in our ecosystem, right, I think we have as I said, three of the top five banks, seven of the top ten issuers, the largest gaming operator, the largest investment manager. I think at this point, we're having a ton of success, obviously growing very, very quickly.

And so, that's really what we're laser focused on, right John? I mean, if we can continue to expand margins, hit our aggressive growth targets, execute and deliver on a go-to-market strategy in a number of verticals. We're doing a ton of work right now related to data storage, privacy, biometrics laws, credit laws globally, so we can start to kind of formulate our opinion for international expansion strategy next year.

I think that little liquidity event whether it be traditional IPO, SPAC, a direct listing, I think these things kind of take care of themselves if you continue to execute in the way that we want to. And so that's really what we're heads-down focus on right now is, building a big sustainable long term business.

Making long term investments in our people, our training, the way that we're thinking about products, the way we're thinking about building and scaling our platforms, are really kind of three, five, seven year plans. It's kind of fun, even me and our head of product / head of Data Science, we have a quarter by quarter road map for the next three years.

And so, because a lot of these things take a long time, right? There's a lot of investment, things take 6 to 12 months to build. And so, we really have an idea of where we think the market is going, how we want to build it, who we're going to built it with, who we are going to build it for.

And, yeah, so the focus is really around execution and hopefully in the next couple of years we'll pick our head up and the public market will be in a good spot valuing technology companies of course in the way that they are today.

 

John: Well, I look, I think it's growth we're in a world where we've had zero interest rates so long it's difficult to find growth.

And yet you're talking about very high double digit to triple digit growth in revenues for a reasonable period of time. I want to ask people if they have questions could they sort of raise them now as we're sort of going, as we're coming towards the end of this broadcast.

But one of the things we at ffVC pride ourselves is that 50% of our seed funding companies get to Series B - about five times the average in the industry. And then every now and then we as a firm have to sort of step in and step up and kind of help our companies because they trip over their shoe laces things happen in the light.

I will put Socure in one of those companies where we sort of stepped up and tried to help out, but I'd love to put you on the spot and get your perspective on the early days. The company now is obviously much more robust, with literally $100 million in the bank, but it wasn't always like that.

 

Johnny: No, of course, look I think I guess the fun part is I guess whoever's left standing gets to tell the story, right? But I think the earlier days, you guys lead the A, you helped us raise our funding for A. And you and I laughed about this before, we ran out of money before the A, and you guys actually had to wire us $100,000 so we can make payroll before the A.

I believe it was between the A and then we raised in A1 you guys also led a bridge. And then between the A1 and the B, I think you guys also led the bridge. And so this was a certainly not for the faint of heart, I guess not on either side.

But yeah, look you guys have been a tremendous capital partner to us. I'm sure we've given you and the team some gray hairs and concerns at some point. There's a number of investors, right? If you look back over the history of the company and you're like, well, we definitely would not be there, we would not be here without them.

And ffVC is certainly in that small circle of folks. And so, when we've talked about some of the, I guess the returns or potential returns it makes me feel good because obviously you guys took a huge risk on us in the early days and were a huge supporter of us when obviously many people, many, many, many people said no.

 

John: Right, and I will tell you we bought into the vision, I think we expected it to take a little longer for revenues to start to ramp. It took even longer than we expected, but once they've ramped they've really ramped solidly. Can you talk about revenue so the forecast for this year and next year or is that you're something uncomfortable about?

 

Johnny: I mean I'll just, I can give like a brief, we expect revenue to grow about a hundred percent this year. Year over year I think our booked number will eclipse a hundred million this year which we think puts us in the driver's seat next year and the year after, obviously to your IPO question.

At that point we're in a position where we're. GAAP revenue is 150, 160 plus and the business should be profitable and self sustainable. That's really what we're trying to get to over the next two years, if not sooner at this growth rate.

 

John: Right, and you're a business with very little churn and we talked about in dollar terms, high negative churn.

Once you're through $100 million revenue run rate, the public market should be accessible. And I think there's a uniqueness to this property that would be well appreciated out there. And when we talked about this earlier, the TA is massive and growing and accelerating in its growth, which I think is a fascinating opportunity with regard to where we are.

 

Johnny: Yeah. And just on scale, we did a TAM analysis with The One World identity team related to low, medium and high identity assurance. And they basically projected they expected the market to be at about $30 billion TAM next year as kind of all these digital initiatives flow through and dispense, and that's just in the US market, John.

 

John: Right, it's not like this problem is limited to the US. And it's kinda like a number of people issue. So there's the US might be a larger proportion of GDP globally than this population. But there's a lot of people in India, in China, in Malaysia, in Europe, all who need solutions like this.

 

Johnny: Absolutely, you look at companies like Nubank out of Brazil, right, you look at, I think they just had a bunch of press and then launching in Mexico, right? Where it's just massively over subscribed, and Mexico, you have almost 200 million people. In Brazil, you have almost 300 million people.

Right, almost at the scale of the US. And if you think about them kind of skipping some of these technology waves, they're all going digital, right? You look at Indonesia and Malaysia which you referred to, and you just have a massive, massive market of mobile first properties, where they need the ability to verify and authenticate identities at scale.

 

John: What would be your top five countries to go to globally?

 

Johnny: Top five countries, say India, massive, massive, massive market. I think Brazil and Mexico just being so close in the same time zone as us. Europe is a challenge just because you have so many in country interdependencies.

We're gonna launch Canada, we're starting that build plan. We just have so many customers, that's kind of their next natural extension after the US. I'd kind of put that in the bucket, and then probably some Southeast Asian country that has pretty large scale, but where English is a kinda first or second language as it is in India.

 

John: So the technology works, it's the right idea. The macro is moving towards you. How'd you get the right people? I was having a look and you we're at something like, I think at year end there were 180 odd people in the firm. I don't know how many there are now.

But you're looking to add how many this year?

 

Johnny: Yeah, basically double. We added in January and February, we added 31 people. I believe through Q1, I think we were almost at 50, if not eclipsing 50 new. And we have like over 30 offers already accepted that we're just working to onboard.

 

John: Obviously, you built the machinery to onboard, but how do you find A+ players? How do you integrate them? And this is a technical sell. How do they get to know what Socure really is rather than having their own mindset and being wrong?

 

Johnny: Yeah, so look, we've talked a lot about how we could be better and improve of recruiting branding and that being its own view of marketing, right?

So you have product branding, product messaging, and then how do you actually recruit from a brand and talent perspective? Our recruiting team has been incredible. They've built an engine, they talked to our mission. We're really big on referrals, we're not shy away from using recruiters, be it retained or pay per search, especially since we're hiring really technical roles.

If you look at our data science team, I think like two-thirds of them have PhDs, right? I think basically all of our VPs either have masters or PhDs.

 

John: How big is your data science team?

 

Johnny: I think we're over 40 now, and I think we're gonna get too close to 80 this year.

 

John: I remember when it was like two!

 

Johnny: I also remember when it was zero. Yeah, and so the early days, look, our head of product and data science obviously has become like a brother to me. Pablo has been with us for over six years. He's built an incredible team.

He's got crazy numbers around talent retention. We've hired and promoted a lot from within. We're constantly making sure we provide really hard new problems to people. So I think there's an intellectual excitement, and look, we're building a lot, right? This is not like I built one product and I'm selling it a billion times.

We have 11 products, we're building different facets. There's a lot of really hard underlying elements. People are being named on patents. We have a big team in the US, we also have folks in Chennai. Members of our Chennai team are being named on patents because they're such an integral part of our team.

 

John: Chennai is in India, right?

 

Johnny: In Chennai, in India yeah, in Tamil Nadu. And look, yeah, it's a challenge. I hired Rong Cao, who's our new SVP of technology. She and I probably spent 40 hours on the phone, right? Really making sure she had the right culture, energy, passion, on the back of her having past panel peer interviews, all of the kind of technical deep dives.

So yeah, look, it's a time. As you think about us going from 250 to 1,000 people, the only way we get there is by having really great people.

So I view this just as you kinda think about product and future revenue investment, our people are also obviously future revenue investment.

And you just gotta spend the time.

 

John: So, you're not gonna have a thousand people on one floor in one office, you obviously have multi-offices. You have Chennai, you have New York. COVID happened, did that change how you think about location of people, remote working, those dynamics

 

Johnny: Without question, look, we hired Rong in South Bay.

I just hired a chief marketing officer who's in South Bay. I just hired a senior advisor who is in Sausalito. So I have West Coast people now. We had some folks that don't have kids move to tax free locations. My chief revenue officer is in Chicago. So we've actually opened it up in a pretty national way.

I have five people in Alaska. We have people in Toronto. We have people - and I don't even know where the other two are - in the North East Coast of Canada. We're distributed. We're in Texas, We're in Scottsdale, we're in Vegas, we're in Florida. And so the funny thing is we were always remote.

If you remember, it was me, Sunil, and we hired a couple of engineers in India. So we've been remote from the beginning, from the very early days. And so, aside from some basic changes around hardware that was in our office, we were already distributed. People were bringing their own machine, their own devices.

And so yeah, we were pretty much set up for scale remotely to start, I think now we're gonna have to figure out the cultural element. How do you actually integrate these people into a super competitive, very high standards, very analytical, very kind of tight knit, selfless group of people.

And I think the way that we've gone about solving that is very unique John in that, we built a Socure University. We actually built a six level LMS to give people in their first 30, 60, 90 days with Socure this massive accelerant in their track of the company.

Legal, product, data science, technical account managers, we've actually given them the tools to get 70% of what they know to be massively successful at Socure. And so I'm hopeful that as we give them product knowledge, job specific knowledge we can also work to integrate that really important kind of cultural fabric.

When not over beers or wine or water at the cooler in the office.

 

John: So, you have very nice offices in New York City. Do you think most of expansion now will be outside of New York City because of COVID?

 

Johnny: Yeah, look, I think a part of this is being empathetic and being a really good listener.

And so we've been doing a lot of customer surveys or customer, our internal customers, our people, people surveys around, how do they want to work? How do they want to go back to work, do they want to go back to the work, how many people want an office? So I think we'll end up doing is probably regional cohorts where it will get smaller two day, three day a week offices.

Obviously we're gonna figure out this for security and compliance purposes that are unique to us. And then be it quarterly or at a minimum, semi-annually get the whole company together in a place because it's kind of wild. I'm sure you have investments like this where you've never met them before.

Right, and you're supposed to have huge respect, huge amounts of trust of people you don't really know. So I think we're gonna have to figure out creative ways, we're doing a lot of work we created a task force at Socure to try to figure out what is the model that's gonna work for Socure and what we're trying to do in a fully distributed world.

 

John: That's very helpful. When you look at the VCs, ffVC or other VCs out there at the earliest stage, having been someone who's survived through series A and B and now C and work your way towards becoming public at some point.

What's your advice to early stage VCs? What are the things firms like us can do best to support our companies?

 

Johnny: Survived is a great verb. Yeah, look, I think I tell folks all the time, I think there's two reasons companies fail. There's obviously a lot.

One don't run out of money. As long as you don't run out of money, you fight to live another day. You run out of money, you're in trouble. Obviously unless you can self fund.

And then the second thing is people try to do too many things.

They don't really focus on solving a problem. I think Brian Chesky has said I'd rather have 100 people that can't live without us right? Than 10,000 people who kinda sorta like us. And so I think that's kinda my perspective or my kinda piece of advice. Make sure to earn money, and then really build a product or a thing that people love.

And we'll reference we'll talk about, that's kind of my kind of quick two cents on some entrepreneurial advice. On the VC side in the early days, it's probably different for consumer it's definitely different than for consumer. But in the enterprise world, you touched on this which was a compliment to me around just go to market, I'm really good at at deals and figuring out how to solve problem and obviously getting paid to solve those problems.

In the early days customers are so valuable. Right, they're will keep you from running out of money, right? So, I think some of our earliest investors the biggest value that they provided was actually helping us get some of our early customers. I think that's one. Two, there's a lot of infrastructure things.

I was talking to an entrepreneur the other day, and he was like “man, I never thought that I would be creating the design of my website and my business cards and my signature.”

There's just so much minutiae that you have to do as an early stage entrepreneur, you have to do everything, right?

You're building everything from scratch. And at FF you guys did our books, you guys did our accounting, you helped with tax filings, right? And we actually leaned on you guys for a bunch of those critical vital services in the early days where we just don't have the maturity or staff to be able to do it.

And so I think, pick each kind of investor has their own wheelhouse, but I think pick the things that are gonna be really valuable to your entrepreneurs. To help them get from that zero to one scale. That zero to one could be Seed to A, A to B, or obviously get to kinda some type of escape velocity.

It could be from napkin on a paper to product-market fit. But really kinda figure out what is your niche to help entrepreneurs make that jump while you are maybe one or the only, capital partner that they have. Because I just think back to the early days and there were a couple of investors that were way more valuable than everyone else.

Cuz they helped us solve one of these really super critical foundational elements other than just you know, writing $100,000 or $200,000 check..

 

John: That's very helpful. Johnny it's kind of interesting as you say it's not been a straight line to get here. Been lots of ups and downs. Yeah, I think in Rose, in our third fund, we're up something like 20 times on our investment.

And the funny thing is, if you grow it 100% other things being equal for multiples of the same, the next 20 times will come much faster than they took us to get to the first 20 times which is one of the nice things of venture capital for us and obviously for our LPs.

But I look at this company and I see it as one, we've really uncapped opportunity. And so, yeah, I suspect if we check in and we do this again in six years the characteristics of the conversation will be very different. We won't be talking about growing to 1000 people we'll be talking about growing to 10,000 people, the numbers will have an extra zero or two on them.

It'll be kind of interesting, but you only get to be that overnight success through all the years of hard slog they've had sort of getting here, you and the whole team. And one of the things to me as a VC that I look at, is seeing the growth of individuals that we back and seeing the growth of these companies and the impact they really have on the infrastructure.

I will tell you, there's probably not one person on this call, who has not used Socure? Now they don't know, because it's a B2B2C product. But if you've logged into any of the major banks, if you've used any of the disruptive FinTech companies, you've probably used Socure. And it's very satisfying, to me as a VC and I think LPs individually, that they backed a company that's really improved the lives and the quality of so many people.

I'll tell you this yeah, I still use Goldman Sachs. I have to say I was there for many years and they still use some from my brokerage, I don't know why. But every now and then when I speak to them, they say, just to prove your identity, did you ever drive a Saturn or a Mercedes and I'm like: this is what Socure is eliminating.

And this is so analog and I can't wait until I'm never asked that question back again.

 

Johnny: Yeah, there's like a, I think it's Larry Page that said, how do you make a billion dollars you impact a billion lives and so certainly we are on our way to achieving that goal.

 

John: Yeah, how many people in your database?

 

Johnny: A lot.

 

John: A lot, okay, I'll accept it at that. Thank you very much for your time today, we really appreciate it. We'd love to have you come back on in, when a little time has passed, we got more of a story to tell.

It's a hell of a story, thanks very much. Really appreciate it.

 

Johnny: Absolutely. John and the FF team, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

A Conversation with Socure CEO Johnny Ayers
Socure is the leader in digital identity verification technology for Day Zero and beyond. Its predictive analytics platform applies artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques with trusted online/offline data intelligence from email, phone, address, IP, device, velocity, and the broader internet to verify identities in real-time.
ffVC first invested in Socure in 2014
Johnny Ayers
Founder / CEO
Johnny Ayers is the founder and CEO of Socure.

An industry expert in the areas of fraud, authentication, and identity verification, Ayers is driven by the company’s mission to ensure 100% trusted identity for every application and transaction on the Internet. Since launching the company in 2012, Ayers has been the main engine of Socure’s customer growth and product-market fit.

As CEO, Ayers led Socure’s recent $100 million Series D funding round, which catapulted the company to Unicorn status with a valuation of over $1 billion. He has helped craft, commercially scale, and deploy

Socure’s industry-leading ID+ platform into some of the largest Fortune 500 companies where trust in digital identity matters.
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