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IDPartner corrals a posse to close $3.1 million seed round


Another venture round for a digital identity vendor – not a regular occurrence – has been signed.

Verifier software and service startup IDPartner says it has closed a $3.1 million seed round. The funding will pay for the costs of building out an ID trust network.

That is a respectable sum for the times, although it was raised from a calvary of funders. Abstract Ventures led. Also participating were privacy software developer Aleo, Foundation Capital, Circle Ventures, Firsthand Alliance, Correlation Ventures and Success Venture Partners.

At least three angels joined, including disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong and Aaron VanDevender, ex-chief scientist at storied venture firm Founder Fund.

IDPartner’s play is another take on decentralizing consumer identity for business transactions.

If the current options are letting each vendor someone works with handle ID policies and giving each consumer complete control over sharing and protecting their ID, IDPartner is cutting a path near the middle.

Company CEO Rod Boothby wants to create an intermediary, a broker, connecting a consumer’s bank, for instance, to vendors the consumer wants to transact with. Beyond making connections, IDPartner would market trust. It could assure all parties of everyone else’s confirmed identity.

And while, technically, the company would be connecting one transaction partner with another and it would know the transaction policies of all participants, Boothby tells Biometric Update his company would be privy to no aspect of the traffic.

This set up simplifies a common task that is too easily used to defraud.

He says he wants to see banks view digital identities the same as bundles of currency, a vision that would integrate with his brokerage vision.

Banks know how to manage transactions, operate in strict confidence and bundle related services. The same should be true of identities in the form of digital wallets as a cloud service, according to Boothby.

The wallets would work the way they already do, he says. They would hold driver’s licenses, passports, company IDs and permissions and the like. The banks would hold them the way they hold financial instruments.

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