2019 Identity Industry Landscape

November 21, 2019
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Each year, OWI designs an Identity Landscape, providing a comprehensive and holistic view of leaders in the identity space. As the identity industry rapidly develops, OWI’s landscape provides an unparalleled overview of how digital identity applications are evolving and how the companies and markets are shaping next-generation digital identity. Download the identity landscape here!


With over 400 companies and 35 market segments, the 2019 Identity Landscape visually depicts a growing and maturing industry. The new, unique landscape format places each company in a single market segment, based on their product marketing language, while allowing them to touch multiple segments. This format reflects the dynamic nature of digital identity applications and how intersections between market segments are fundamental to growth in this industry. The OWI team selected 415 identity companies from a pool of over 2,000 based on several factors:

  • Each company must be an identity company OR have a distinguishable line of business-focused on identity
  • Each company must be at least 3 years old OR have raised $3 million
  • Each company must have a functioning product in the market  

This year we decided to change the way we look at the industry and here is why…

The Big Idea: Identity is not a “what,” but a “how”

In previous years, we’ve utilized a framework that broke down the industry into the following segments: Consumer Applications, Platforms & Enablers, and Building Blocks. Since 2016, the proportion of identity companies listed as Platforms & Enablers increased from 33% to 80% (see table below). 

We see the expansion of the Platforms & Enablers segment as an indication of how companies will shift to serve consumers. Now consumers’ digital identities are woven into the fabric of who they are and is how they access new products and services. We attribute this segment’s growth to several factors:


The demand for consumer identity applications never came

With the rise and fall of mobile payment wallets, the idea of an independent identity wallet to store identity credentials developed as well. Like mobile wallets, a few big winners have started to emerge, including banks, telcos, and governments. We expect to see Big Tech play a big part in consumer identity applications very soon (see Market Segment: Personal Identity Products).

The industry still has much room to grow

Since 2016, the number of identity companies has exploded from 230 companies to over 2,000. The majority of new entrants are focused on building secure and interoperable ways to collect, validate, and communicate data. While the number of global mobile device users continues to grow in tandem with their ability to connect online, online-to-offline experiences will require new methods of handling identity for risk management, identity proofing, and transaction assurance (see Market Segments: Fraud Prevention & Risk Management, Identity Proofing, eSignature & Certifications).


Digital identity is the linchpin of digital transformation

Digital identity is at the core of who we are as people. It’s also paramount to how we interact and grow in the digital economy. Now more than ever, consumers demand privacy, security, and transparency. As companies expand and consumers’ physical and digital lives intertwine, digital identity is no longer optional – it’s a foundational journey that companies must navigate to succeed (see Market Segments: Identity-as-a-Service & Identity and Access Management, Password Managers, Self-Sovereign Identity).


How to Use the 2019 Identity Industry Landscape

To make sense of an industry landscape dominated by Platforms & Enablers, we analyzed how each market segment interacts with and influences other market segments. We leveraged the hexagon to give more depth to market segments. Instead of bucketing a company into a single segment, the hexagon allows us to explore which market segments enable other market segments most. 

Determining Dominant Data Types

Market segments enable other market segments based on their dominant data type.

  • Orange – Probabilistic Data
  • Blue – Deterministic Data
  • Gray – Provided/Self-Managed Data
  • Red – Professional Services Companies

Market segments with the same form of dominant data type enable each other more often than market segments of differing dominant data types. See example:

Identifying Platforms & Enablers

Market segments enabled by multiple dominant data types make for better platform solutions than market segments with a single dominant data type. For example, below, IDaaS & IAM market segment players make for better identity platforms than behavioral biometrics market segment players.

Spotting Golden Cogs

Golden Cogs are enabling technologies that are extraordinarily valuable as integrated partners in platform solutions. You can spot Golden Cog opportunities by selecting enabling market segments with dominant data over the market segments directly adjacent to it. 

Leveraging the same market segments example as above, mobile identity and device intelligence market segment players are some of the identity industry’s best Golden Cogs. 


Market Segments Listed

  • Advisory Firms
  • Alternative Credit & Financial Identity
  • Regulatory Compliance Transaction Monitoring
  • Authentication
  • Background Screening
  • Biometrics
  • Behavioral Biometrics & Bot Detection
  • BPO
  • Customer Identity & Access Management
  • Conferences
  • Data Aggregators & Credit Bureaus
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Enterprise Master Patient Index
  • eSignature & Certifications
  • Fraud Prevention & Risk Management
  • Identity-as-a-Service & Identity and Access Management
  • Identity Governance & Administration
  • Identity Graphing
  • Identity Proofing
  • Identity Resolution
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Identity Verification & Document Verification
  • Identity of Things
  • IT Consulting
  • Know Your Customer & Entity Verification
  • Master Data Management & Consent Management Platforms
  • Mobile Identity & Device Intelligence
  • Notable Investors
  • Password Managers
  • Personal Identity Products
  • Physical Identity and Access Management
  • Privileged Access Management
  • Research
  • Self-Sovereign Identity
  • Standards Organizations & Protocols
  • Trade Organizations
  • User and Entity Behavior Analytics
  • User-Generated Content Moderation

What’s Next from OWI

Over the next year, we will continue to break down each market segment, calling out the trends to follow and companies to watch. Our annual State of Identity research report, complete with a list of all companies in each segment, facts, and figures, and our predictions for what’s ahead will be available January 30, 2020.

You can also join us in Las Vegas from April 5 – 9, 2020 for the annual KNOW Identity Conference. Join 2,000+ attendees and 500+ companies for 50+ content-rich sessions at the industry-leading conference focused on identity, trust, and the data economy. It is an immersive and powerful event where the leading edge of digital identity gets sharper. 


Download the identity landscape here!


Travis Jarae

Travis Jarae

Travis is the Founder and CEO of One World Identity, and is recognized as one of the world's most prominent thought leaders on digital identity and technology.
jennie (24)

Travis Jarae

Travis is the Founder and CEO of One World Identity, and is recognized as one of the world's most prominent thought leaders on digital identity and technology.
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