Acumen has invested $500,000 in Kiip — a simple and secure vital document management & storage platform to reduce the administrative burdens faced by vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in the U.S.
The Challenge: Administrative Burdens Create Tremendous Barriers for Low-Income Communities
Accessing, retaining, renewing, and sharing vital documents creates tremendous barriers for individuals in their efforts to access available benefits and services. In the U.S., it is estimated that the annual paperwork burden imposed by federal executive departments and agencies alone on the public is in excess of 9 billion hours. In NYC, the application for affordable housing requires 33 individual documents, and 50% of applications for SNAP are rejected due to insufficient documentation. Further, many welfare and benefits programs ask for the same documents but they are unable to share information across siloed systems–individuals who qualify for a variety of programs and services must compile and submit separate documentation packages to each provider or agency.
The Innovation: A Simple and Secure Vital Document Management and Storage Platform
Kiip seeks to fill the gap in the market between document storage and identity management applications that fail to create systems interoperability and address the system-wide administrative burden of sourcing, storing and processing vital documents. Through Kiip, organizations will pay for interactive data rooms with their clients (who retain ownership and control of their documents) which provide collaborative spaces between individuals and the organizations that serve them. Individuals will upload their vital documents to Kiip and can share all or a subset of their documents with a third party through a data room, but only the individual can delete or edit documents in their account. Individuals will also have the option to appoint a delegate to manage their account on their behalf (e.g. spouse, caregiver, social worker etc.).
Why we invested: Creating Autonomy, Dignity, and Reducing Barriers to Advancement
Kiip has the potential to accelerate the digitization of identity documentation and improve interoperability between benefits organizations, which will improve the ability of vulnerable populations to access needed services and benefits. By equipping and empowering vulnerable individuals with the ability to control their vital documents, Kip will create autonomy, dignity and reduce barriers to advancement.