Kaarel Kotkas, Founder and CEO, Veriff OÜ

When software developer Kaarel Kotkas was 14, he faked an ID. He needed to appear older than he was to complete an online order for his job on the family farm. It was a standard teenage deception, but it inspired Kaarel to launch online identity verification company Veriff just six years later.

Based in Estonia, Veriff protects businesses and customers from identity fraud and theft by confirming that people are who they claim to be. Veriff’s software can identify thousands of different government-issued IDs from over 190 countries around the world.

Kaarel’s ultimate goal is to create an identification document that would be valid in every country across the globe. “Our ambition is to give all people, no matter where they are or come from, an equal access to digital services,” he says.