Q: How has the coronavirus affected the business and working methods?
A: When the pandemic hit, we were very uncertain about how the economy and our business would be affected. We help financial institutions, the service industry and the public sector, among others, to onboard their customers digitally. We also engage with their customer securely and seamlessly so businesses can trust whom they are dealing with online. Hence, our company is dependent on digitisation in society. In general, we can say that more people have turned to live their lives digitally in the last year, where we have witnessed a growing need for our solutions. For instance, electronic signing of legally binding agreements no longer became a “nice to have” but a pure necessity due to the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
Q: Were you in need of capital during 2020?
A: We are a scale-up that has had a yearly growth of 40 per cent, which recently got us recognised in the prestigious Financial Times’ list of the fastest-growing companies in Europe (link). The capital that our owners infused last year has been used to make add-on investments. Last year, we acquired the leading Dutch identity specialist Connectis, which has a very similar service to ours yet has enabled us to take a strategic foothold in Europe and meet the growing needs of businesses in an expanding RegTech market. We plan to make 3-4 strategic add-ons in the next 18 months, with the goal of becoming the European market leader within digital identity and electronic signing.
Q: What does it mean to have an active owner in such a crisis?
A: Having support during the pandemic makes a huge difference. Our investors are actively involved and close to the business side. The way it challenges our management is a massive advantage for me as CEO. It allows us to act quickly, transform and grow the business, and keep us in line with our investors. This form of ownership and modality of working is and has been one of our most significant advantages. The collaboration is solid and one that continues to be supportive of Signicat’s ambitions for international expansion.
Q: Has the crisis led to market opportunities?
A: We are very far ahead in the Nordic countries with regards to digital trust services. For example, in continental Europe, electronic identity (e-ID) services are available but not broadly used. Therefore, people do not live as digitally or can access public and private services seamlessly as in the Nordic countries. With the pandemic, traditional economies have become more digital, which is a huge advantage to us. Our solutions enable a digital economy and a common European platform for e-ID that works across national borders and following the strictest national and international regulations.