UK startup PixelPin raises £1.5 million funding round for image-based authentication, led by SBI Group

LONDON, UK. – April 11, 2019 – Today, PixelPin, a UK start-up that uses image-based authentication to replace passwords with pictures, has announced it has closed a £1.5M Pre-Series A funding round.

The round was led by SBI Investment, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, which is the biggest internet financial group in Japan known as the formerly SoftBank Investment. SBI Investment invested £1M from the SBI AI & Blockchain Fund. An additional investment of £500k from existing Angel investors completed the round, bringing it to £1.5M in total.

FIDO-certified PixelPin will use the new funds to target new customers in the finance and retail sectors and support continued product development. In addition, the funding is being used to establish new offices in Tokyo to act as a base for the company’s expansion into Japan and the wider Asian market. The company already has offices in London and Cheltenham. 

PixelPin’s cloud-based platform, hosted on Microsoft Azure, replaces passwords and PINs for a highly secure, personal and user-friendly means of logging into their online accounts for banking, shopping and more. Instead of remembering a password or PIN users can select a picture and four specific points on that picture that must be selected in sequence to login to their online accounts. PixelPin’s platform also boasts a stellar success rate: it takes on average just 10 seconds for a user to login and one minute to register and has a login success rate (92 percent) three times higher than for passwords (30 percent). 

“This latest round of investment is a fantastic step forward for PixelPin and illustrates the level of confidence the global investor community has PixelPin and the UK fintech industry,” commented Geoff Anderson, CEO and co-founder of PixelPin. “We’ve been extremely diligent in our search for the right investor partners and are delighted that SBI Group has chosen to work with us as we look to expand our reach into Japan and the wider Asian market where we’re sure the group’s knowledge and experience will be a huge asset.” 

The SBI AI & Blockchain Fund was established in January 2018 to identify and support promising fintech ventures across the globe, with a targeted commitment of JPY 60 billion and successfully closed in December 2018 with more than 120 LPs. In addition to the financial commitment, the fund is intended to foster cooperation between the Japanese investment group and innovative companies from regions of fintech excellence, such as London.

“For everyone who has been locked out of their online banking for guessing their logins one too many times it’s clear that the passwords and PINs we’re forced to use aren’t fit for purpose,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, President & CEO of SBI Holdings “PixelPin’s solution creates a highly personalised and easy-to-use login experience that will be particularly popular with a tech-first younger generation but does this without compromising security – in fact, making it much more secure than passwords. In addition we see real potential for businesses to create value added services on this platform, turning security into a revenue generator.” 

This funding round brings PixelPin’s total funding to date to $4.5M which has facilitated expansion internationally, with partnerships across Asia, Europe and the Americas. This latest funding deal was brokered by PixelPin’s legal partners, Osborne Clarke.

To view the PixelPin website, visit https://www.pixelpin.io/   

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About PixelPin

PixelPin is the leader in image-based authentication, providing users and businesses with a secure, personal and user-friendly means of logging into their online accounts. Backed by Japanese financial services company SBI Group, PixelPin has headquarters in London, UK, and additional offices in Cheltenham with international partnerships across Asia, Europe and the Americas. 

For more information, visit https://www.pixelpin.io/ or follow @PixelPin on Twitter. 

Media Contact:

Tom Mackintosh

Racepoint Global 

tom.mackintosh@racepointglobal.com  

+44 (0) 7854 315511

Onfido raises £38.25 million Series C investment led by SBI International

Onfido raises $50M led by SBI Investment and others to create the identity verification standard for businesses globally

Frank van Veenendaal, former Vice Chairman of Salesforce, joins board 

Onfido has raised $50M in funding, bringing the total investment in the company to over $100M. The round was led by SBI Investment and Salesforce Ventures, with support from M12(formerly Microsoft Ventures), FinVC and others, including existing investors. Frank van Veenendaal (view his interview on why he joined), former Chief Sales Officer and Vice Chairman of Salesforce joins Onfido’s board. The investment will accelerate Onfido’s goal of using AI to standardize the way businesses verify identities in a scalable and secure way. It will help Onfido consolidate its core market in the USA, accelerate Onfido’s expansion into high-growth regions including Europe and South-East Asia as well as advancing product development.  

With just a photo of an identity document and a selfie video, anyone can access a host of online services in a matter of seconds from some of the biggest names in financial services, transportation, online marketplaces & communities, gambling and other industries—all fueled by Onfido’s AI-powered identity verification. 

This recent round validates Onfido’s success in creating a multi award-winning AI-powered identity verification platform—one that’s generated a 342% year-over-year sales growth and attracted over 1,500 customers worldwide— including industry leaders such as Current , Drivy, DraftKings, Europcar, Indiegogo, Remitly, and Zipcar. These customers are choosing Onfido over others because of its ability to scale, speed in onboarding, preventing fraud, and biometric technology. 

Ability to Scale – Onfido automates checks on over 4,500 document types across 195 countries detecting anomalies automatically, while using human experts to verify outliers.  This means  customer pass rates don’t suffer as they grow or expand to new regions. If new documents are detected, Onfido’s AI quickly learns them and can continue to handle high volumes, without defaulting to expensive and timely manual operations.

Speed of onboarding – customers can be onboarded in as little as 15 seconds, minimizing drop-off rates while still complying with ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Cross-platform support, blur & glare detection and customer UX design services all contribute, helping ensure users don’t drop-off during the process. 

Fraud prevention – Onfido’s risk engine protects its customers’ bottom lines with fraud exposure rates as little as 0.0195%*. Proprietary anti-fraud technologies such as Onfido’s facial liveness testing, the ability for its AI to detect fakes that a human eye cannot, combined with its experienced document team,  help maintain the market’s most robust protection against spoofing attempts.

4.5 billion records were breached in the first half of 2018, and McKinsey has predicted the identity verification-as-a-service market to hit $20 Billion by 2022. So Onfido is very well placed to solidify its position as the global leader in identity verification,” said Tomoyuki Nii, Executive Officer, at SBI Investment. “We chose to invest in Onfido because they have proven their expertise at using artificial intelligence to effectively fight fraud, giving businesses a safe and secure way to scale their businesses online.”

“There has never been a more important time for companies to build trust with their customers by showing they are one step ahead of fraudsters,” said Frank van Veenendaal. “I believe Onfido has the unique opportunity to transform the digital identity market and deliver robust and scalable authentication-as-a-service, similar to how Salesforce transformed customer relationship management.”

“We’re seeing new data breaches occur every day, resulting in millions of people’s private data ending up on the dark web,” said Husayn Kassai, CEO and co-founder of Onfido. “With this new funding, we can protect more businesses, in more countries—and in more ways—from the effects of fraud. We’ll also be able to expand the reach of our technology, so that people without a credit history can finally access the online services they badly need.” 

Request a demo of Onfido’s Identity verification technology.

Other investors that took part in this round include: Acequia Capital, Tuesday Capital, Crane Venture Partners, Idinvest Partners, Augmentum Fintech plc, Wellington Partners, Plug & Play Venture Group, B&Y Venture Partners, CreditEase Ventures, TempoCap, and Talis Capital.