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Romanian startup TypingDNA raised $7 mil investment and is revolutionizing authentication methods

Autor: Financial Market
Timp de citit: 2 minute

TypingDNA, a Romanian startup has closed on $7 million in Series A funding in AI technology. Though,  for a lot of us still interesting, but apparently not quite new: the company is developing AI-driven technology that is said it can recognize people based on the way they type (either on their laptops or mobile devices). The company was founded 4 years ago and more recently moved its headquarters to Brooklyn, New York.

Identifying or authenticating people based on how they type is not a new idea, but thanks to advances in artificial intelligence it can now be done with a very high level of accuracy, making it a viable replacement for other forms of biometrics.

Research in the field of keystroke dynamics, also known as keyboard or typing biometrics, spans back over 20 years. The technique has already been used for various applications that need to differentiate among computer users, but its widespread adoption as a method of authentication has been held back by insufficient levels of accuracy.

TypingDNA meanwhile asserts that the typing pattern recognition technology it has developed has an accuracy rate of between 99% and upwards of 99.9%.

The large number of data breaches announced by online service providers over the past few years is a clear indication that password-based authentication is no longer enough. Two-factor authentication systems, often based on one-time-use codes sent via text messages or generated by mobile apps, have now become the norm.

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But SMS is not a secure channel for transmitting authentication codes and users might not always have their mobile phones with them. AI-powered typing biometrics could be a viable alternative for the web, much more so than other forms of biometrics that require special access to peripheral devices.

According to Raul Popa, TypingDNA CEO and Co-founder – the company is currently working with banks, financial and payment apps, online education platforms, enterprise apps, consumer apps, and government apps that are concerned with identity and fraud prevention. On the education front, for example, it helps organizations to ensure they’re giving the right students credit for the work they receive.

Currently TypingDNA has an API open to anyone — especially developers — looking into integrate the technology its their products and apps. In fact, asked how the company will use its new round, Popa says the plan involves “focusing on developers more, coming up with typing biometrics based products that can easily be integrated to solve various use cases, and helping banks and fintechs where regulation asks for biometrics as a second factor”.

From an AI point of view, TypingDNA is apparently combining pattern recognition, anomaly detection, and what Popa calls one-shot learning techniques — some of which are “completely novel,” he says. Indeed, if all goes as planned, it might eventually be applied to other technologies, as well as to improve binary classification quality when few training samples are used.

The company last year closed on €1.3 million in seed funding — had so far raised $5.25 million toward that goal. The company’s cofounder and CEO, Raul Popa, confirmed the entire amount has been raised, according to TechCrunch.

Gradient Ventures, which is Google’s nearly three-year-old, AI-focused venture group, led the round; it was joined by the company’s previous backers, including Techstars Ventures and GapMinder Venture Partners, a venture outfit based in Amsterdam.