One of my first angel investments was in LifeLock ($LOCK) back in 2006. I have been bullish on the space ever since. In the last twelve months there have been hundreds of large scale credit breaches including Target, Ashley Madison and eBay.
If you’ve ever had your identity stolen, you know the pain of undoing the damage. That is why I’m excited to announce Social Leverage’s seed investment in Civic Technologies. I will also be taking a board seat.
The premise of Civic is simple. Whenever someone tries to use your social security number within your network, you get a ping. Nobody can use your identity to open up accounts without your approval. What’s more, it’s completely free for consumers (the Wall Street Journal also covered the announcement).
Vinny Lingham is a great friend, incredible entrepreneur, and successful investor in his own right. Not only did he sell Gyft to First Data ($FDC) for $50M, but he also sits in the big chair on South Africa’s version of Shark Tank, Dragon’s Den. As a Bitcoin Foundation board member, Vinny is a longtime advocate for the bitcoin and blockchain industry. He first integrated bitcoin payments into Gyft in 2013, and there is huge potential in leveraging blockchain technology with Civic.
Cofounder Jonathan Smith has deep fintech and global banking experience. He was most recently the VP — Global Head of Platforms at Genpact Headstrong Capital Markets and previously headed up the Fixed Income & Structured Products Ops Technology business at RBS.
Civic will democratize identity theft protection for millions of consumers. The vision is clear, the team is great, the product plan is fantastic and the time is now.