Itsme, the digital identity app owned by a consortium of Belgian banks and telcos has received a €24.7 million capital injection and welcomed Federal Holding and Investment Company as a new shareholder.
The government investment fund is investing €14.5 million for a 20% stake in the venture.. Six other shareholders - Belfius Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium, KBC Bank, Orange Belgium, Proximus and Telenet - are also injecting extra funds, taking the total increase in capital to €24.7 million.
In Belgium, the app now has 3.5 million users and was recently selected to provide the authentication mechanism for the Belgian government’s CovidSafe.be app.
Tom Feys, chief investment officer of FPIM/SFPI, says itsme has enormous strategic importance for the Belgian Government.
“It’s hard to imagine our society without itsme; these days,” he says. “In just a short space of time, the app has taken on enormous social relevance for Belgians - plus it also has all the cards it needs to play a European role as well."
As a new shareholder, the investment company aims to lend its support to the European ambitions of itsme, which recently took its first steps into the Netherlands and now also enables Dutch citizens to create an itsme account.
Currently the app enables users to identify themselves online, log in to websites, confirm transactions and sign documents digitally.
Michael Anseeuw, chairman of itsme, says the Coronavirus crisis has also emphasised the role of digital identities in sharing user data and fighting against online fraud.
This can be seen from the latest collaboration with the Belgian government on the CovidSafe.be app. Using this ‘corona passport’, Belgians can show that they have been vaccinated, or have had a negative PCR test, or have built up immunity. The app has only been available since Wednesday 16 June and already more than one million Belgians have logged into it via itsme.
“The additional success of the past two weeks has established itsme even more firmly in Belgian society,” says CEO Stephanie De Bruyne. “At the same time, projects such as this demonstrate that itsme is more than ready to play a role on the international stage."”