Anonybit raises $3.5 million to relieve biometrics vendors of storing sensitive data
To hear Frances Zelazny, co-founder of Anonybit, the company’s $3.5 million funding round is just one in a carefully calculated series of steps aimed at revolutionizing the biometrics industry, l online digital identity and much of the Internet.
It could also be seen as the culmination of a series of votes of confidence for privacy and security-preserving technology for biometrics and other sensitive data based on multi-party calculations and zero-knowledge proofs. .
“When you develop something like Anonybit, everything is invisible by definition,” Zelazny explains in an interview with Biometric update. “And the demo is a face match.”
Zelazny’s co-founders are Yaron Azizi, an Israel Defense Forces Unit 8200 veteran and design architect of the BioCatch platform, and Shaked Vax, former Trusteer product manager and head of innovation at the Marlet.
The funding round was led by Switch Ventures, with participation from NextGen Venture Partners, Industry Ventures, Pceptor Capital and strategic angel investors.
Zelazny described Anonybit’s three-part vision of no data breaches, trusted identity without reliance on passwords or knowledge-based authentication, and trusted management of consumer data in an interview early in the company’s journey last year.
The company has long-term ambitions, but for now Zelazny is focused on “putting the basics together”.
Anonybit has also established an advisory board made up of impressive business leaders, privacy and startup incubation experts, and BioCatch co-founder Avi Turgmen.
The product suite
Last year, for Anonybit, it was about taking innovative technology and producing it for real-world use by partners and customers.
Anonybit knew that its solution to the industry’s privacy and data security challenges, according to Zelazny, had to work with any modality and support non-biometric assets (such as private keys and passwords from backup). It needed to do this while meeting data residency requirements and enabling different types of organizations, such as those requiring on-premises or cloud hosting.
The result was three products, each serving different customer groups.
Anonybit’s Decentralized Identity Cloud is the primary product it provides to FacePhi to bring Privacy-by-Design storage to its onboarding solution. It can be used by any biometric algorithm vendor to remove the storage burden of complete templates.
The turnkey authentication product provides the authentication capability for the secure online storage provider DropVault. The product features biometric matching, liveliness, decent storage, and integration, and can be used with an integration solution to add biometric authentication. Zelazny sees this product, announced alongside the funding round, being rolled out to banking and healthcare customers.
“You get all the benefits of FIDO without the restrictions of bringing your own device,” says Zelazny.
The Digital Asset Vault is used by the Abine Password Manager for decentralized storage of master passwords, so if Abine’s own customer database is breached, the data found will be indecipherable.
Each of the three products came to market this year with a partner or customer. “It really is the big achievement of 2021; this validation,” says Zelazny.
The potential to serve a variety of use cases with distributed private key storage or a decentralized biometric cloud, Zelazny says, has a lot of legs, both in the digital identity industry and beyond.
“The truth is actually that it’s the same product,” she confesses. “It’s just different aspects of capacity that we’re going to market with.”
The year to come
The funds will be used by Anonybit to hire sales, marketing, and business development talent and to improve its network to scale.
“On the product roadmap, there are items related to accelerating implementation, items related to solving additional use cases.”
Market penetration and sales will be top priorities for 2022, strengthening its network of partners and
Zelazny expects the company to reach “concrete milestones” in 2022, which will become apparent as each milestone is announced.
The message to other biometrics and digital identity providers is clear: partner to protect sensitive data or expand your services.
“I want the industry to join me on this journey. We have the opportunity to really solve the problem of privacy and security together,” says Zelazny.
“When the client asks ‘where are the models stored?’ give them a real answer.
Anonymous | authentication | biometric data | biometrics | data protection | Decentralized ID | digital identity | financing | confidentiality | Privacy by Design