From telephones to cardiac diseases

It all happened quickly. In 2003, Daniel Mattes had invented a solution to make digital calls using a regular telephone. “At first I just wanted to lower my phone bill because it went soaring every month when my wife called her friends living abroad,” he says. “But the module I developed and launched online was downloaded thousands of time within the first 24 hours.”

Within a few days, he founded the highly successful Jajah, left his native Austria for Silicon Valley and raised $3 million in funding from Sequoia Capital. A leader in Voice over IP (VoIP) services, his company was bought by the Spanish group Telefónica for $207 million in 2009.

Mr Mattes then decided to do it all over. “With Jajah, we often had to deal with authentication issues for online users,” he says. “I wanted to solve that problem.” And Jumio came to be. The service lets users hold an official photo ID up to their smartphone camera or webcam, and the ID is verified against a picture of their face. Another triumph. “Today the start-up has more than 1,000 employees,” the entrepreneur says.

He sold Jajah in 2016 and is now taking on his next challenge with the start-up This young firm applies artificial intelligence to fight cardiovascular disease. “The idea is to compile as much data as possible from doctors so that the machine can learn about their practices and generate a list of optimal care options,” explains Mattes, who has since returned to Austria.

Daniel Mattes

Founder and CEO of