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Big little investment: $3M in seed for digital ID startup Allthenticate

Ping Identity participates as ecosystem expands
Big little investment: $3M in seed for digital ID startup Allthenticate

As seed financing goes, the just-completed round for passwordless digital ID authentication startup Allthenticate is notable.

The company took brought in $3.1 million — $3,133,337, to be very exact. Silverton Partners led and Amplify and Ping Identity participated.

The authentication and access-control app works by storing cryptographic keys in a person’s phone hardware. Within its range limits the software will open electronically locked doors, log into computers and even sign in to certain websites. Step-up authentication with biometrics or a PIN is applied for higher security interactions.

Nothing changes hands over a network, increasing security. The company says it is easier to create detailed permissions across a business or a campus.

Allthenticate seeks to eliminate reliance on passwords and physical security keys.

The company’s founder, CEO Chad Spensky, developed the app as part of a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Lab while working on a contract from the U.S. Defense Department. Allthenticate has an exclusive license to the app’s core technology.

Ping is both an Allthenticate investor and an access management vendor. Earlier this month, it joined with Yubico, maker of hardware authentication security keys and EntryPoint, which has a credential management platform.

Together, they have created a no-code, standards-based product boasting phishing resistant authenticators, ID proofing and centralized digital ID management for buyers in the U.S. government based on the FIDO2 multifactor authentication specification.

A seed round of more than $3 million is unusual. It approaches the $5 million level that technology-business publisher Crunchbase considered in 2019 to be “supergiant seed rounds.”

While the data in the article is dated, it shows growth in the number of $5 million-plus seed financings. To weed out older firms that for some reason decided to finally seek venture funding, the editors counted only firms being no older than 3 years.

In 2014, there were 39 supergiant seeds, 70 the next year, 77 in 2016, 115 in 2017 and 141 in 2018, according to Crunchbase.

Allthenticate says it will dedicate the funding to its engineering efforts and commercial operations.

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