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Magic $27M Series A to give developers more passwordless authentication, onboarding options

Categories Access Control  |  Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
Magic $27M Series A to give developers more passwordless authentication, onboarding options

Plug and play digital identity authentication provider Magic Labs has raised $27 million in a Series A funding round to expand passwordless authentication with tools like blockchain and WebAuthn biometrics.

The investment was led by Northzone, with participation from Tiger Global, Placeholder, SV Angel, Digital Currency Group, CoinFund and Cherubic. More than 80 angel investors also participated, according to a blog post, with big names in tech like Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, and Github CTO Jason Warner included. The latest round brings Magic to a total of $31 million raised.

Magic’s plug and play authentication tools were launched to Product Hunt in April, 2020, and since then the company’s team has expanded from “a few people in a San Francisco loft” to a team of 30 or more all-remote workers around the world. The number of developers building with Magic has also increased ten-fold, the company says.

CEO Sean Li writes in the post that Magic’s ambition is to be “the passport of the internet,” and compares the dominant, legacy model of online trust to “a teetering Jenga tower about to collapse.” One outcome of what Li calls the cybertrust paradox is that large tech companies become custodians of centralized honeypots of digital ID data.

Magic’s proposed alternative is to empower developers with passwordless login options, like magic links and WebAuthn biometrics or hardware keys. Magic’s technology provides blockchain-based public and private key pairs, with a decentralized identifier signed by the private key to generate an authentication token for identity verification. This approach gives Magic native compatibility with blockchains, the blog post explains, enabling blockchain developers to provide low-friction digital onboarding through the Magic SDK and tap into the fast-growing blockchain industry.

The key pairs also support self-sovereign identity (SSI), as they are exportable and do not contain personally identifiable information (PII).

Magic also has five job openings posted on its website.

Passwordless authentication with biometrics holds a prominent place in the recent streak of digital ID investment announcements, with Transmit Security pulling in $543 million in June.

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