Zoopla founder backs legal tech startup in £1.5m funding

Alex Chesterman

Thirdfort, an app-based solution that lets conveyancers verify client ID and source of funds in minutes, has secured £1.5m in its latest fund raising.

The digital onboarding platform, founded by school friends Olly Thornton-Berry and Jack Bidgood, combines Open Banking, document scanning, and facial recognition technology, to streamline identity and source of funds checks carried out during legal and property transactions.

The platform lets lawyers and property professionals onboard their clients remotely.

The ‘growth’ funding round was raised solely from existing investors, with the funds doubled via a convertible loan from the government, as part of its Future Fund programme.

This latest round marks the third investment from Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla, as well as Cazoo and LoveFilm.

It brings the company’s total funds raised to £4.2m and will support product development and innovation, particularly in light of HM Land Registry’s recently introduced Digital ID Standard which, alongside other government initiatives, is expected to drive the use of digital ID within conveyancing.

Chesterman said: “My passion in business is for solving problems, and the team at Thirdfort has developed a product that tackles an issue affecting hundreds of thousands of us each year – the cumbersome process of buying and selling homes. This hasn’t changed for decades and is ripe for transformation, particularly around the compliance aspects that affect not just consumers and their lawyers, but also agents, brokers and lenders.

“We also see huge scope to develop what the platform can offer to the wider legal profession, and I’m delighted to support the team as they continue to grow from strength to strength.”

FCA regulated Thirdfort is using cutting edge technology to help lawyers and property professionals minimise fraud risk, according to Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder and managing director Thirdfort.

He commented: “These tools have the backing of regulators, government bodies and a growing number of firms, and our objective is for Thirdfort to become the new standard in legal security, as well as expanding into adjacent markets such as the estate agent and mortgage space. That means building better products and doing so faster than ever, and we’re delighted that some of the UK’s leading angel investors support this strategy.”

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