Keyless Brings Total Funding to US $26m to Stop Identity Fraud; Emerges as an Independent Entity
4 December 2023

Keyless Brings Total Funding to US $26m to Stop Identity Fraud; Emerges as an Independent Entity

4 December 2023

Keyless Emerges as an Independent Entity: Brings Total Funding to US $26m to Stop Identity Fraud

The London-headquartered scaleup announces a mutually beneficial departure from Sift as it secures funds to accelerate adoption of its biometric authentication solutions beyond Europe
  • The latest round, led by Rialto Ventures, propels Keyless’ total funding to US $26 million.

  • Marking its first funding round since its spin out from Sift, the raise underscores the increasing demand for Keyless' privacy-preserving biometric technology in the banking and financial services sectors.

  • The separation from Sift is driven by a mutual understanding that pursuing distinct strategic markets will unlock greater value for both companies.

Keyless, the leader in privacy-preserving biometric authentication, secures an additional $6 million in funding from prominent European venture capitalists, led by Rialto Ventures. This funding injection elevates Keyless' total funding to $26 million, with previous backing from distinguished investors such as P101, Primo Ventures, gumi Cryptos Capital, and Ripple's Xpring.

Stefano Quintarelli, General Partner at Rialto VC, underscores Keyless' potential, noting,

"Keyless addresses the urgent need for end-to-end authentication solutions that enhance security throughout the identity lifecycle. This capital infusion is pivotal in advancing their market strategy and expanding the adoption of their private-by-design biometric authentication solutions."

Keyless unifies the entire end-to-end identity lifecycle with privacy-preserving biometric authentication, helping to continuously assure the genuine identity of the user from the initial onboarding and account creation, through to step-up actions, transaction signing (including PSD2 SCA compliance), and account recovery. Its patented technology not only fortifies protection against account takeover attacks and identity theft but also ensures compliance with global data protection and privacy regulations, such as the GDPR.

Andrea Carmignani, co-founder and CEO of Keyless, emphasizes the shifting authentication landscape in Europe, stating,

"Organizations across many sectors are intensifying their fraud defenses, spotlighting the inadequacy of current authentication methods in effectively establishing user identity, particularly during account recovery."

Thanks to its privacy-preserving cryptographic capabilities, Keyless can create universal biometric profiles that can be used to assure the identity of the genuine user at any point in the identity lifecycle without needing to store biometric data anywhere, delivering superior security while preserving user privacy. This addresses the challenge faced by vendors relying on device-bound biometric capabilities such as FaceID, which do not authenticate the genuine person behind the device, but rather authenticate the device itself, making it difficult to prove that it is the authorized account holder.

Carmignani highlights the need for a transition in authentication, stating,

"The emphasis is shifting from demonstrating ownership of devices or email accounts to verifying the true identity of the individual. Biometrics offer a compelling solution but existing solutions like FaceID have fundamental limitations, which Keyless is uniquely positioned to address."

Server-side biometric solutions, which solve the identity portability issues with device-based authentication, come with the challenge of storing sensitive biometric data in centralized databases. Even if the data is encrypted at rest, it still represents personal identifiable information (PII) and poses a massive risk to the business. Emerging private-by-design solutions, such as Keyless, are solving this trade off and for the first time, enabling businesses to balance seamless user experiences with compliance needs and strong security.

This latest round is also the startup’s first as a newly independent company. In a strategic move, Keyless mutually agreed to separate from parent company Sift earlier this year. The separation comes after the two companies found that their respective products were best suited to servicing differing markets.

Carmignani elaborates,

"We're seeing increasing appetite for our biometric authentication solutions across high-profile sectors, such as the banking and financial services markets. Being independent allows us to better serve the needs of these markets."

Thanks to increasing adoption of its flagship Zero-Knowledge Biometrics™ technology, Keyless continues to lead the charge in privacy-preserving biometric authentication, with this latest funding serving as a testament to its commitment to reshaping the authentication landscape in a rapidly evolving digital era.

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