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itsme acquires nextAuth and plans passwordless MFA product with device biometrics

itsme acquires nextAuth and plans passwordless MFA product with device biometrics

Belgium’s digital identity industry is consolidating, with the acquisition of Leuven-based nextAuth by itsme.

NextAuth is a spinoff from prominent university KU Leuven and imec (Intrauniversity Microelectronics Centre). The startup provides passwordless multi-factor authentication with native mobile device biometrics, along with e-signatures.

The acquisition represents the next step in itsme’s expansion, the company says, with the integration of nextAuth’s biometric, passwordless MFA into the itsme app. The integration will provide stronger end-to-end authentication within the app, itsme says.

The first step in itsme’s portfolio expansion is offering authentication solutions to customers to embed into their own applications. Itsme CEO Stephanie De Bruyne says the two companies share the same ambition, and that nextAuth’s ties with KU Leuven are valuable to itsme.

“We have developed a strong international reputation in cryptography with the research group COmputer Security & Industrial Cryptography (COSIC). I am therefore delighted that the technology created in this team will now have a much wider application through the collaboration with itsme”, said Professor Bart Preneel, who heads up COSIC, a cybersecurity research group within KU Leuven’s Department of Electrical Engineering.

“We are often asked questions about the difference between nextAuth and itsme. Our answer has been that the itsme app is the ideal client for the technology that we have developed. The fact that we can now actually give our solution wings through this collaboration with itsme is fantastic news.”

Itsme is already used by 7 million Belgians and more than 800 businesses, according to the announcement. The company also partnered with iProov to integrate its liveness detection technology in 2021, shortly before closing a $29 million funding round to support its expansion into other European countries.

The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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