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Startup Passbase puts self-sovereign spin on biometric selfie and ID document authentication app


London cybersecurity startup Passbase has raised €530,000 (US$600,000) in pre-seed funding to bring its full-stack identity solution to market, EU-Startups.com reports.

Angel investors in the round include Alphabet, Stanford, Kleiner Perkins, EY, Upheaval, and Seedcamp.

Referred to by Co-founder Mathias Klenk as “Stripe for user identification,” Passbase’s product takes the now-familiar form of video selfie facial recognition plus government ID document verification, but with the difference that after being enrolled, the user claims his or her digital identity, which is then shared from a blockchain-based, self-sovereign digital identity app on the consumer’s smartphone.

“The digital world we live in is crying out for a better identity system,” says Seedcamp Partner Sia Houchangnia. “Passbase isn’t the first company to go after this massive opportunity but we believe with all the recent privacy-related scandals, the timing is right for a decentralized approach to the problem which puts people in control of their most sensitive data.”

The Passbase team draws on experience with Alphabet’s R&D division GoogleX and passive authentication company UnifyID, which launched a behavioral biometric platform last year.

“We believe this is the first step towards giving people back control over their personal information online,” comments Klenk. “Businesses will always need to identify their users, but with Passbase they can do that in a seamless, privacy-preserving way.”

Passbase’s consumer product is expected to launch in the coming weeks.

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