Persona raises $50M to make its biometric ID verification internet’s identity layer

digital identity KYC security

Persona has raised $50 million in a Series B funding round to support its ambition to provide the internet’s identity layer with its selfie biometrics and other technologies.

That ambition is further encouraged by Persona’s rapid growth, with the company reporting 10-times revenue growth on a year-over-year basis, and its headcount tripling to keep up with demand. The company also says its customer base grew by five times in the past year.

The funding round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from existing investor Coatue.

The identity verification industry initially focussed on discrete applications, like biometric KYC and AML checks, geared towards particularly industries, Persona CEO Rick Song writes in a company blog post. With more people looking to perform more different types of interactions online, that legacy model no longer suits customer needs, he argues, drawing on his experience meeting different identity needs for Square’s various channels and services.

Song told Biometric Update in an interview earlier this year that customizable and flexible identity infrastructure is necessary for customers to get full benefit from biometrics. In the blog post, he compares one-size-fits-all solutions to socks that may cover the feet of people with different foot-sizes, but only fit a small group of them well.

“Our team has been building an end-to-end identity verification platform that adapts perfectly to any use case, and we’ve proven this flexibility by partnering closely with industry-defining businesses in numerous use cases. This funding enables us to shift our focus from building to ambitiously scaling and helping even more businesses deter fraud, stay compliant, and build trust and safety,” said Song.

“We’re at a unique tipping point where consumers are demanding personalized, effortless experiences while businesses need more layers of security. Existing all-in-one solutions lack the flexibility to adapt to the number and variety of use cases that are cropping up for businesses in various industries. By focusing on providing tailored experiences for both end users and operators, Persona has reimagined identity verification to meet the needs of both,” states Mark Goldberg, partner at Index Ventures, in the announcement. “We believe Rick and his team have solved the core issues with identity verification and are critical to making the internet a safer place.”

Goldberg is also joining Persona’s board of directors.

Persona raised $17.5 million at the beginning of 2020 in its Series A round to build out its industry presence and biometric identity infrastructure, shortly after launching what it says is its privacy-centric and people-focussed biometric ID verification.

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