London-based Callsign has landed $35m in a series A round of funding led by Spotify backer Accel and PTB Ventures a New York-based early-stage investment firm specialising in digital identity.
Allegis Capital, a Palo Alto-based cyber specialist and David DeWalt, a well-known name in cyber security having done stints at Intel, McAfee and FireEye.
Callsign’s technology offers businesses a way to securely authenticate users on various digital platforms, when they log in based on hundreds of data points such as where a person is and how they use a smartphone, including how they tap a touchscreen.
“Our IDA [Intelligence Driven Authentication] platform has had an incredible reception from financial institutions, governments and other large enterprises, and this investment will allow us to grow the business and meet some of the strong demand we’re seeing,” said founder and chief executive Zia Hayat.
DeWalt, who will join the Callsign board, said: “Zia and his exceptional product and engineering team have built the foundations of a very solid business. They are pioneering a new approach to authentication with a powerful product that is quickly attracting some of the world’s leading businesses as customers. As the company rolls out its solution, it’s an exciting time to be joining the board.”
The fresh investment will go toward global expansion with a focus on the US, where it plans to open offices in New York and San Francisco, as well as Asia. It will increase staff numbers across the business, including engineering, sales, marketing and business development.
Accel partner Harry Nelis will also join the five-year-old startup’s board, along with Allegis’s Bob Ackerman and PTB’s Dave Fields.
Investors are increasingly keen on startups tackling security amid growing concern around cyber attacks. Rising UK star Darktrace raised $75m earlier this month, giving it a valuation of $825m.
Nelis said: “With the rise in cybercrime, businesses have been stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to choose security solutions that either offer a poor user experience or not enough protection. With Callsign, they don’t have to compromise.”