Biometric Startup Raises Growth Capital
Biometric security company Hypr Corp. has closed a $3 million funding round to accelerate the development and adoption of its encryption product.
The Hypr solution integrates fingerprint, voice, face, eye and palm recognition into mobile and desktop banking and shopping. The aim of the product is to remove the need for customers to manually input PIN numbers or passwords. The New York-based startup will use the funds to expand its security engineering talent base and its office space in Manhattan, it said in a Tuesday news release.
Venture capital firms RTP Ventures and Boldstart Ventures, based in New York, and Mesh Ventures, from Taiwan, participated in the round.
"There is no bigger opportunity in security right now than to replace every password with biometrics," Ed Sim, managing partner and founder of Boldstart Ventures, said in the release. Hypr's approach "allows financial, [Internet of Things], and enterprise customers to easily integrate into existing architectures, deploy any biometric to its customer base, and scale infinitely."
Hypr's authentication system turns the user's biometric data into a token that is used to confirm things like deposits, wire transfers or payments. Instead of having biometrics stored on a server, Hypr stores them on individual devices, so users' biometric credentials never leave their devices.
That means when a users authenticate their identity, they match their fingerprint against the fingerprint stored in their device's chip, making a one-to-one match instead of the one-to-many match it would make by storing data on a central database.
Hypr is part of the FIDO Alliance, an industry consortium that focuses on modernizing authentication and has gotten traction for its specs defining the use of biometrics for authentication. Initially, the company just used fingerprint data. This year it partnered with with voice biometrics firm SpeechPro as well as EyeVerify, the eyeprint ID software developer backed by Wells Fargo, which is expected to roll out the Eyeprint ID solution for commercial customers' mobile banking this year.
"There will come a day when we look back on the history of computing and cringe at how we used to treat our most guarded assets," Edward Chyau, managing partner of Mesh Ventures, said in the release. "Hypr will help us leave behind our alphanumeric past and embrace the biometric future: a world where our online identity is simply our self."