Callsign, the leading artificial intelligence-based authentication platform, has raised a $35 million Series A investment led by global venture capital firm Accel and early-stage investor PTB Ventures. Allegis Capital and cybersecurity industry veteran David DeWalt’s NightDragon Security also participated in the round.
With the proliferation of data breaches and advanced threats resulting in stolen user credentials, there is increasing pressure on companies of all sizes around the world to implement better authentication practices. In 2015 alone, cybercrime cost businesses $500 billion and this is estimated to rise four times to $2 trillion in 2019. At the same time, companies want to minimise the friction that universal two-factor authentication introduces to the user experience.
In response, Callsign developed a deep learning-based authentication platform called Intelligence Driven Authentication™ (IDA). It enables enterprises to determine what kind of authentication journeys are best used in which circumstances, based on what action is being performed, by who, where, and how. The result is an experience that optimises for both security and usability – a win-win for the enterprise and the end user.
Callsign’s IDA platform uniquely derives the complete intelligence picture around authentication and authorisation events, giving organizations the ability to build user journeys that adapt in real-time to contextual intelligence. While the platform can be deployed with out-of-the box mobile authenticators, it is a very open and flexible platform to which enterprises can easily plug-in existing authenticators or data sources. Callsign has also integrated with several Identity and Access Management providers, like ForgeRock, to provide a truly end-to-end solution.
Callsign was founded in 2012. Deployed to hundreds of thousands of users globally, its clients include some of the world’s largest banks, such as Lloyds Bank and Deutsche Bank alongside enterprises, financial institutions and consumer-facing digital services.
Zia Hayat, Founder & CEO of Callsign, said: “Several years ago, I realised that the way we identify ourselves online was very broken. I knew we needed to make existing solutions like multi-factor authentication and fraud analytics better by bringing them together. Our IDA platform has had an incredible reception from financial institutions, governments and other large enterprises, and this investment will allow us to grow the business and meet some of the strong demand we’re seeing.”
The new investment will help accelerate the growth of the company. Callsign will be expanding globally from its headquarters in London, with a particular focus on the US and Far East. Callsign will be building out its engineering and commercial teams as well, including sales, marketing and business development roles.
David DeWalt, formerly President and CEO of McAfee and CEO and Executive Chairman of FireEye, will join the board of directors as Vice Chairman. DeWalt brings more than 25 years of experience in the cybersecurity sector and is widely recognised as one of the industry’s most successful executives. He currently holds a number of board positions at leading cybersecurity companies, including Vice Chairman of ForgeRock and Vice Chairman of ForeScout Technologies, amongst others.
DeWalt said: “Zia and his exceptional product and engineering team have built the foundations of a very solid business. They are pioneering a new approach to authentication with a powerful product that is quickly attracting some of the world’s leading businesses as customers. As the company rolls out its solution, it’s an exciting time to be joining the board.”
Harry Nelis, Partner at Accel, will also join the board.
Nelis said: “With the rise in cybercrime, businesses have been stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to choose security solutions that either offer a poor user experience or not enough protection. With Callsign, they don’t have to compromise. IDA is an evolutionary step in authentication, and Callsign is leading the industry forward.”
Bob Ackerman from Allegis Capital and Dave Fields from PTB Ventures are also joining the Callsign board of directors.
Accel is a leading venture capital firm that invests in people and their companies from the earliest days through all phases of private company growth. Atlassian, BlaBlaCar, Cloudera, Crowdstrike, Deliveroo, DJI, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Forescout, ForgeRock, Funding Circle, Kayak, QlikTech, Slack, Spotify, Supercell and WorldRemit are among the companies the firm has backed over the past 30 years. The firm seeks to understand entrepreneurs as individuals, appreciate their originality and play to their strengths. Because greatness doesn't have a stereotype. For more, visit www.accel.com, www.facebook.com/accel or www.twitter.com/accel.
About Allegis Capital
Allegis Capital is a premier, early-stage venture firm that invests solely in cybersecurity and was the first fund to focus strictly on cyber. In addition to Callsign, current investments include Area 1, Bracket Computing, Cyber GRX, E8 Security, RedOwl, Shape Security, Signifyd, Synack, tCell.io and vArmour. Allegis is also a founding partner in Cyber Start-Up Studio, DataTribe, based in Columbia, Maryland. Allegis Capital is based in San Francisco Ca.
PTB Ventures is a thesis driven venture capital firm investing in early-stage companies in the emerging digital identity ecosystem. Digital identity is the cornerstone of a transformation that will see trillions of networked devices connected to billions of humans. This transformation will create unprecedented economic expansion and a new level of security and access to billions of people. PTB is headquartered in New York City.