Persona raises $17.5M to build industry presence, biometric identity infrastructure
Persona has raised $17.5 million in a Series A funding round, and CEO and Co-founder Rick Song told Biometric Update in an email interview that the company intends to expand its industry presence to scale its business and build out its identity infrastructure to cover all business needs without taking on the liability risk of storing sensitive biometric and personal data, or using their platform to re-verify individuals.
The company was co-founded by Song, a former Square engineer, and former Dropbox engineer Charles Yeh, and recently relaunched to deliver a privacy-centric, people-first approach to biometric identity verification online.
Participants in the funding round include Coatue and First Round Capital. Song states in the company announcement that as transactions move online, and especially with deep fakes and synthetic identity fraud risks increasing, a different approach from traditional “one-size-fits-all” identity solutions is necessary.
The platform stands out from the crowd for the ease it brings to identity verification for companies while maintaining a dynamic and configurable experience, Song says. He describes it in an email as a system of “building blocks that can be strung together to satisfy any use case,” with Persona partnering with companies in different industries to build “primitives that can be adapted.”
“On the end-user side, we invest heavily in our user experience, ensuring that our interfaces are straightforward, streamlined, and aesthetic,” Song explains. “Our customers love that they can customize the design of the interface for their users, and we constantly monitor how people are using the product to ensure that we are building an experience that is incredibly easy to use.”
The company supports 192 countries and localized languages in its bid to be the internet’s identity verification layer.
Not only can Persona’s IDV service be integrated with less than 10 lines of code, Song says “we even have a zero-engineering solution for organizations that don’t have large engineering teams or are strapped for these resources. Persona also has a dashboard that gives our business users super-powers — you don’t need to be an engineer to automate your identity processes with Persona.”
Song believes changes in regulation are making the need for secure verification clear to organizations, as well as what secure verification really means. He points to the rights to access and delete personal information granted by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as an example of the capabilities that identity partners must provide for their customers.
From that perspective, a benefit of Persona’s platform is that it “enables organizations to leverage sensitive personal information without the liability of data storage, and provides easy options to re-verify individuals or redact their information when needed,” he writes.
Persona plans to make further announcements in the near future, according to Song.
“We are actively growing and building out support for new use cases,” he says. “We’re launching many new features for our platform that enable organizations to better automate identity workflows, collect sensitive documents, and attain environmental signals to better assess individual risk.”