Cognito Broadcast

Plaid and Cognito

Cognito is Joining Plaid

I'm extremely excited to publicly share that Cognito has been acquired by Plaid. Together, we will continue building the products that power the identity verification and compliance processes across the fintech ecosystem.

After almost a decade of working together, this is a very sentimental moment for me and the rest of the Cognito team, so I'd like to share a bit about our history before I speak about the future.

The first line of code for Cognito (“BlockScore” at the time) was written in July of 2013. At the time, John and I were still in college. We were enthusiastic about the future potential of Bitcoin and noticed that identity verification was a common pain point for every founder we met. Despite us not knowing how identity verification worked at the time, we had full conviction that we could make something better if we put in the work.

The first APIs we shipped in 2014 were focused on providing simple APIs oriented towards new startups. Our “people” API processed basic identity data and returned a pass / fail result. Our “watchlist” API made it easy to search against a set of government watchlists.

Over time, we focused on sourcing higher quality data sources and introduced a new set of APIs focused on minimizing customer friction and understanding why verifications pass or fail.

As Cognito's products grew over the years, we developed an in-depth understanding of how compliance and verification processes work across the industries we serve. These insights allowed us to move beyond just providing APIs. Flow and Screening provide more holistic solutions that help move building, configuring, and managing a compliance program out of code, significantly reducing engineering overhead in the process.

Looking to the future

Plaid Link is nearly ubiquitous across the fintech ecosystem because it does a fantastic job at abstracting over the thousands of banking providers every company needs to support. The identity and compliance story that immediately follows connecting a bank account is still, comparatively, quite fragmented and home rolled.

Cognito's trajectory over the past decade, starting from outsiders peering into the identity space and ending with a crisp and confident vision for the future, is why I sincerely believe that Plaid is a perfect home for Cognito. Plaid believes in our vision to drastically reduce the overhead of onboarding customers for all fintech applications. With Plaid backing us, we will continue to build amazing products for years to come.

To current customers

To all of the amazing customers who have integrated our products over the years: thank you. Many of you took a risk on us, enthusiastically tried out new features, gave us feedback, and helped us evolve our vision into what it is today.

I also want to be crystal clear: Cognito's products are not going anywhere. The products you use today will continue to work, evolve, and improve.

To the Cognito team

Thank you all for your loyalty, support, and hard work over the years. Your dedication helped us get where we are today and I cannot wait to spend the coming years with you at Plaid. Working alongside you all has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life.

Alain Meier
CEO of Cognito

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