Biometric identity verification startup Authenteq raises $5M in Series A funding

Identity verification startup Authenteq has raised €4.4 million (US$5 million) in a Series A funding round led by Capital300 and Draper Associates, which it will use to expand operations and grow its team, EU-Startups.com reports.

Authenteq provides ID document and selfie onboarding, along with blockchain, which protects user privacy. Blockchain also powers the company’ Trollteq application, which prevents people from opening a new account with a different identity if they are banned from a given platform, and was launched in August. The company says its identity verification technology can onboard customers within 60 seconds.

The funding is expected to be only the first part of the Series A round, which Authenteq CEO Kari Thor Runarsson says he expects to close within the next few weeks. Runnarsson says it has not been difficult so far to convince talent from Europe and the U.S. to move to Berlin or its home base in Reykjavik to join the team, though it is humbling when people do so. Authenteq currently has 22 employees.

Capital300 and Draper Associates contributed equally to the funding, according to the report. Draper Associates Founding Partner Tim Draper is known for early investments in Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, Baidu, Coinbase, and other companies.

“I believe that Authenteq is the beginning of the solution to true and pure identity, which may eliminate many of the security concerns in the market today,” Draper comments. “Their product is simple and elegant.”

Price per authentication is a major differentiator for Authenteq, according to Capital300 General Partner Peter Lasinger.

“Several things have led to this investment. Currently, it is still a huge problem to perform authentications,” says Lasinger. “This is becoming increasingly important on the web and in retail, and the costs are very high. Authenteq’s solution works fully automatically and is 10x cheaper than previous approaches, making it very attractive to all companies that want to verify their customers. In doing so, Authenteq fulfills a real need: without users entering personal data, the identity can be reliably ascertained.”

Research released in November indicates that AI-powered identity verification could reduce KYC and AML costs by 70 percent, while making them 80 percent faster.

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