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  • LocationsBangladesh, Nepal
  • SectorDigital identity
  • Type of investmentGrant
  • Project stagePilot

A $200,000 grant to fund the development and implementation of a sustainable delivery model of Simprints’ biometric identity hardware and software products in Bangladesh and Nepal for GIF’s target beneficiaries.


Investment Overview

1.5 billion

People worldwide lack formal identification


More accurate than existing systems

The development problem.

The World Bank estimates that 1.5 billion people worldwide do not officially exist, lacking any type of formal identification. Reliable ID is essential to link children to their vaccination records or track antenatal care for expecting mothers. Lack of official identity documentation such as national ID cards or birth certificates obstructs people's access to financial and health rights and services, costing lives, wasting resources (e.g. redundant vaccinations), and preventing health and finance organisations from reaching millions of beneficiaries.

The innovation.

Simprints is a nonprofit technology company from the University of Cambridge. They build open-source software and biometric hardware that empowers the mobile tools used by researchers, NGOs, and governments fighting poverty around the globe. Recognising a significant gap in current biometric technology, the team has developed an open-source fingerprint system for the world’s toughest settings that is 200%+ more accurate and 4x cheaper than existing solutions.

GIF’s investment.

GIF’s $200,000 grant will help fund the development and implementation of a sustainable delivery model of Simprints’ biometric identity hardware and software products.

Innovation objective(s).

Through blended finance, first a grant and then a credit facility, support Simprints’s expansion. Through this investment GIF also aims to demonstrate a case for non-profit firms to access capital from conventional lenders.

Why we invested

Important development problem that disproportionately impacts GIF’s target beneficiaries who live on <$2/day

Promising commercial traction– cost-effective hardware, more accurate products; significant interest from potential clients

Strong team – competent, impact-oriented and evidence-committed

Click here to read Simprints’s Impact Brief.

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