Google invests in TypingDNA’s two-factor authentication solution

6 Jan 2020

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Google has backed TypingDNA, which is developing an alternative solution to enable fraud detection, authentication and password recovery.

Behavioural biometrics start-up TypingDNA announced that it has raised $7m in a Series A round led by Google’s AI-focused venture fund Gradient Ventures. There was additional investment from Gapminder, Techstars Ventures and TypingDNA’s existing backers.

Founded in 2016 in Romania, TypingDNA launched its US presence in 2018, opening an office in New York. The start-up was founded by Raul Popa, Cristian Tamas and Adrian Gheara. To date, the business has raised approximately $8.8m, according to Crunchbase.

How it works

TypingDNA has developed proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms to authenticate users based on how they type.

Through a simple process of watching user keystrokes, TypingDNA can recognise further attempts from a specific user by matching them against their known account.

This technology, known as typing biometrics, can be used to enable existing applications such as authentication, fraud detection, password recovery and online education assessment to fingerprint users more securely than traditional forms of two-factor authentication, according to the company.

TypingDNA’s authentication API accepts user keystrokes in a standardised and open-sourced format, allowing for integration into any desktop or mobile application.

Developers can implement the API as a passive two-factor authentication option, password recovery method, or simply to ensure inputs are matched to a given user. TypingDNA’s mobile developer SDK also currently supports the latest version of iOS and Android applications.

Plans for the funding

Commenting on the funding, Popa said: “Advancing the research and distribution of typing biometrics is of global importance. Keyboards are incorporated in almost any device today, making typing behaviour the most widely available user biometric.

“This round of funding will allow us to further our mission to provide user-friendly, non-intrusive biometrics and increased security to people around the world.”

The company said that it will use the latest round of investment to expand its developer support network and offer more tools to integrate TypingDNA’s API with existing website development platforms.

Darian Shirazi, general partner at Gradient Ventures, said: “We’re excited about TypingDNA’s developer-first approach to enable people to authenticate securely based on how they type.

“With global regulation impacting face recognition-based authentication and hackers targeting SMS-based two-factor authentication, typing biometrics is the best form of identifying people without compromising privacy or security.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic