Rob Leslie is the CEO and Founder of Sedicii, a company that provides Zero Knowledge Proof identification and security solutions to prevent financial fraud while protecting customers' digital identities. As a pioneer in digital identity, Leslie is leading the drive to revolutionise how organisations, governments, and others throughout the globe store and manage people's private information.
From Senior and Director-Level Roles in Japan to Founding and Managing Sedicii
After graduating from Dublin City University in the 1980s, Leslie spent the first 20 years of his professional career working in senior and director-level roles in Japan with eSafe Japan, Dell Japan, and PTS Japan. He returned to Ireland in the early 2000s and co-founded Kyckr (ASX:KYK) in 2007, which was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has now been taken private again. However, it was while working with Kyckr that Leslie realised there was going to be a need for much more robust privacy services as they relate to a person's identity.
In 2013, Leslie founded Sedicii while extensively researching the core cryptographic technology called Zero Knowledge Proof (ZKP), which is at the heart of the Sedicii proposition. He quit Kyckr in 2016 to focus solely on the development of Sedicii, a platform that enables a worldwide, federated identity network with privacy at its heart.
Leslie is determined to ensure that his employees are rewarded both in financial terms and more especially in job satisfaction and professional progression. He is also committed to rewarding investors and ensuring that their trust in him, his company, and his products and services is justified. Sedicii's success story is inspiring, and it will be interesting to see how it continues to impact the industry and society as a whole.
Sedicii's Unique Solution to Financial Institutions
Sedicii's solution allows financial institutions to securely share the insights they have about clients or transactions, without disclosing the underlying confidential data or information (PII). This enables multiple financial institutions to collaborate to identify potentially suspicious transactions more clearly and accurately by combining the risk information they have, without sharing it – which enables more effective detection of criminal activity.
Using Sedicii's solutions in the context of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) transaction monitoring processes enables banks to better collaborate by jointly computing advanced risk assessment algorithms that consume customer information available in the different banks without actually sharing that information - all enabled by Sedicii's patented multi-party computation (MPC) cryptographic protocol. According to Fulvia Montresor, former Head of Technology Pioneers in WEF, Sedicii is part of a group of entrepreneurs who are more aware of the crucial challenges of the world around them and are determined to do their part to solve those challenges with their company.
The solution provides robust protection against fraud, impersonation, theft and the many disruptions that are brought on by such occurrences. In tandem, it will enhance and enrich the reputation, profitability, and integrity of the organisations that are perceived to be employing it, since those that are seen to care for their customers and their most valuable data assets will eventually enjoy the benefits.
The Road to Success: Sedicii's Journey to Date
Leslie came to entrepreneurship after spending almost 15 years in the industry. He has always had an entrepreneurial streak in him, and once he had his career firmly established, he needed an extra challenge, so when he saw a problem that interested him, he needed to find a solution. Growing up, Leslie was always dismantling things and putting them back together again, so starting his own business seemed like a completely natural progression.
His journey with Sedicii began with the fraudulent use of his debit card during an online purchase. Determined to prevent such an incident from happening again, he embarked on a mission to find a more secure solution for online identity verification, which ultimately led to the company's founding. The experience of changing all payment methods spurred Leslie to create a more robust system for verifying individuals online.
Sedicii has won over 20 awards (see the graph above), and being recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer for its work in the area of Privacy Enhancing Technologies is its biggest achievement.
Sedicii has worked with a variety of customers, including a global organisation that supports young people's education. The company collaborated with their national chapter in Ireland on the verification of their volunteers' and professional leaders' qualifications to engage with and teach young people. The Irish branch had manually verified each user before using Sedicii's solution. Working with Sedicii allowed the organisation to be more productive, save a lot of time, and provide users with a service that is both professional and secure. Nowadays, the service has grown to be such a crucial component of their offering that they are unable to envision operating without it.
In the present climate, every company is feeling pressure due to rising energy and labour prices, as well as general increases in the cost of goods and services. Sedicii has reviewed all of its expenses, rationalised where possible, switched out services for lower-cost alternatives, and significantly tightened its belt. They are fundraising at present, and the prevailing macroeconomic circumstances are causing a lot of uncertainty in the venture capital markets in general. They are now focused on conserving cash till things improve while keeping their eyes firmly fixed on expanding revenues as profitably as feasible as quickly as possible.
Tech Tour's Impact on Sedicii
Tech Tour has enabled Sedicii to showcase its products and services to a diverse group of investors and corporations, which has given them tremendous exposure to the investment community. Tech Tour’s reach across the investor community and its convening power to bring investors and investee companies together is its great strength. According to Leslie, they have been extremely lucky and privileged to have been a part of this community.