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Proxy secures $42M funding for Bluetooth-enabled keyless entry with biometrics

Proxy secures $42M funding for Bluetooth-enabled keyless entry with biometrics

Digital identity startup Proxy has secured $42 million in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners, to further develop its Bluetooth-enabled keyless entry solution with biometrics which aims to broadly leverage phone-based identity for security, writes TechCrunch.

Scale Venture Partners were joined by Kleiner Perkins and Y Combinator, who had already invested in the startup, along with Silicon Valley Bank and West Ventures. Amid the coronavirus pandemic where people are avoiding to touch any objects that may be compromised such as doorknobs, keys or cards, investors have shown significant interest in Proxy solutions.

Proxy now has a total funding of $58.8 million which it can invest in scaling its door sensor hardware and access control software.

According to Proxy Co-founder and CEO Denis Mars, the company wants to ensure users regain privacy control. “Part of this funding is to try to grow up as quickly as possible and not grow for growth sake. We’re making sure we’re secure, meeting all the privacy requirements,” Mars told TechCrunch.

Proxy’s solution consists in an app that employees have to install and share their identity with, and signal readers installed in buildings that can either sync with already installed access control software of Proxy’s proprietary management dashboard.

A Bluetooth signal allows employees to open anything from doors to elevators without taking out their phone. Biometric facial scans, fingerprints or a phone wave can be added. The estimated price is roughly $300 to $350 per reader, plus installation, and a monthly $30 month per reader subscription to its management software.

Proxy uses proprietary SDK and APIs to grant access to other devices when in the building. Some Wi-Fi router manufacturers are programming the devices for automatic connection. Proxy’s Nano sensors can be synced with printers and vending machines, as well as with food delivery companies. The tokenized credentials keep identity private and known only to the sensors, as users have to give consent for the network to read the token. The solution is GDPR compliant and has SOC-2 security audit certification. The biometric information is stored on the phone, which Mars emphasized the importance of to TechCrunch.

“We feel very strongly about where the biometrics are stored . . . they should stay on your phone,” he said.

“We’re not big fans of facial recognition. You don’t want every random company having your face in their database. The face becomes the password you were supposed to change every 30 days.”

Proxy was established in 2016 and boasts more than 60 customers. It aims to deliver contactless interactions in workspaces, office buildings and commercial real estate for a more secure and even hygienic environment. Security and dependability remain top of mind challenges for the company, as an office using the system could be inaccessible should a power outage occur.

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