Digital Identity Industry Success Story in Fairfax
Fraud Fighters Leverage Fairfax County HQ on the Way to Unicorn Status
ID.me reached unicorn status in 2021, but there’s nothing mythical about its rise. The digital identity management firm, headquartered in Fairfax County, is contracted by 25 states to protect against an avalanche of fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims.
ID.me CEO Blake Hall told NBC News a skyrocketing shift online for critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic required increased identity management and verification to help deter fraud.
“It’s like looking at fire burning inside of a house, but no fire alarm is going off. It really is a national crisis,” he said.
ID.me earned a $100 million funding round in March 2021. This latest investment vaults ID.me past $1 billion in valuation and into unicorn status. The firm’s current 500-person labor force is planned to expand to 2,000 by the end of 2021.
“[Our] choice for headquarters was more about the talent pool in that, rather than compete with everyone in Silicon Valley or Boston or New York, we like to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond, if you will, because it means you can retain talent and really transform a city,” Hall told technical.ly.
George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College and Marymount University are among 11 institutions in the Greater Washington area with Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. Talent accelerators and training programs provide streamlined workforce readiness. The metro area ranks number one for information security analysts, with a total cybersecurity talent pool of 105,000.
With unparalleled market access to large public- and private-sector clients as well as major information technology vendors and consulting firms, Fairfax County is the U.S. hub for the nexus of cybersecurity and national-defense assets. Its 530-plus cybersecurity firms – Fortune 500 to startups – earn leverage from the region’s key resources, including a varied transportation network, which puts defense and other federal agencies in the nation’s capital only minutes away.
Accessibility & Inclusion for Americans
ID.me is the only vendor in the U.S. offering virtual, in-person proofing.