Behavioral-biometrics company TypingDNA announces today that it raised a $7 million Series A round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund. Other participants include EU-based fund GapMinder, Techstars Ventures and other prior investors.
A new SEC filing that says the company — which graduated from Techstars NYC in late 2018 and early last year closed on €1.3 million in seed funding — has so far raised $5.25 million toward that goal, according to techcrunch.com.
TypingDNA has developed proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms to authenticate users based on how they type. Through a simple training process of watching user keystrokes, TypingDNA can recognize further attempts from a specific user by matching them against their known account.
„This technology, known as typing biometrics, will enable existing applications such as authentication, fraud detection, password recovery, and online education assessment to fingerprint users more securely than traditional forms of two-factor authentication.”, according to the press release.
“Advancing the research and distribution of typing biometrics is of global importance. Keyboards are incorporated in almost any device today, making typing behavior the most widely available user biometric. This round of funding will allow us to further our mission to provide user-friendly, non-intrusive biometrics and increased security to people around the world,” said Raul Popa, CEO and Co-founder at TypingDNA.
TypingDNA’s Authentication API accepts user keystrokes in a standardized and open-sourced format allowing simple and easy integration into any desktop or mobile application. Developers can implement TypingDNA’s API as a passive two-factor authentication option, password recovery method, or simply to ensure inputs are matched to a given user. TypingDNA’s mobile developer SDK also currently supports the latest version of iOS and Android applications.
TypingDNA is currently ACE compliant for verifying students online, and European Banking Authority considers typing biometrics to be compliant for SCA regulation (2FA in banking and payments in EU), as a consequence the company is experiencing great demand from the industry.
TypingDNA plans to use this new investment to expand its developer support network and offer more tools to integrate their API with existing website development platforms.
“We’re excited about TypingDNA’s developer-first approach to enable people to authenticate securely based on how they type,” said Darian Shirazi, General Partner at Gradient Ventures. “With global regulation impacting face-recognition-based authentication and hackers targeting SMS-based two-factor authentication, typing biometrics is the best form of identifying people without compromising privacy or security.”
Typing biometrics is apparently not brand new. A two-year-old, PCWorld article says research in the field dates back 20 years. It also says that inaccuracies have kept the technology from being used as a widespread way to authenticate individuals.
TypingDNA meanwhile asserts that the typing pattern recognition technology it has developed has an accuracy rate of between 99% and upwards of 99.9%.
TypingDNA, headquartered in New York and founded in 2016, offers a variety of developer-first solutions helping companies recognize people by the way they type. The company started out of EU (Romania) where it won prestigious awards and recognition (including Best start-up in 2018 at NOCASH Gala – Fintech competition), and moved its HQ to New York in 2018, backed by Techstars. TypingDNA previously raised a $1.5M seed round from investors on three continents, including founders of unicorn companies such as UiPath and DataDog, and now has clients and partners around the world.
About Gradient Ventures
Gradient Ventures is Google’s AI-focused venture fund – investing in and connecting early-stage startups with Google’s resources, innovation, and technical leadership in artificial intelligence. The fund focuses on helping founders navigate the challenges in developing new technology products, allowing companies to take advantage of the latest techniques so that great ideas can come to life. Gradient was founded in 2017 and is based in Palo Alto, California.
„Though Libra has met with fierce resistance from central banks and supervisory authorities and might never see the light of day, in many other cases tech firms (both start-ups and established big players) have successfully captured bits and pieces of universal banks’ traditional value chain. This trend may only intensify in the coming years. In this environment, European banks remain squeezed.”