Pindrop Advances into Smart Devices with $90 Million in Funding

Phone-based fraud prevention company Pindrop closed a Series D funding round today valued at $90 million, bringing the Atlanta-based company’s total funding to almost $213 million. Pindrop is not disclosing its valuation, but did say that it is “much higher” than the $600 million it was valued at after its $75 million funding round in 2016.

Vitruvian Partners led the round. Strategic investors Allegion Ventures, Cross Creek, Dimension Data, Singapore-based EDBI, and Goldman Sachs also participated, along with existing investors, including CapitalG, IVP, Andreessen Horowitz, GV and Citi Ventures.

According to Vijay Balasubramaniyan, co-founder, CEO, and CTO of Pindrop, the company will use the investment to advance in consumer IoT and voice technology while strengthening its existing solutions. Specifically, the company outlined plans to boost its presence in Europe and Asia, citing investments from U.K.-based Vitruvian Partners, Singapore-based EDBI, and Japan-based Dimension Data.

“One of our key goals is to help leading high-growth companies like Pindrop grow in Europe and internationally,” said David Nahama, senior partner at Vitruvian Partners. “We are confident that Pindrop is poised for massive expansion given the company’s depth of engineering expertise, pioneering efforts in machine learning technology and patent portfolio.”

Pindrop will also use the funds to support research and development efforts into providing security solutions for voice-controlled smart devices, including Google Home, smart locks, and connected cars. “Voice is fast emerging as the next generation human user interface with wide consumer and commercial applications, yet security remains a major concern,” said Chu Swee Yeok, chief executive and president of EDBI. “Pindrop’s world class AI voice security technology will be a significant enabler for wider voice UI adoption, beyond call centers.”

Founded in 2011, Pindrop debuted its Phoneprinting technology at FinovateFall 2012 in New York. The technology detects 80% of fraudulent calls into call centers and protects “hundreds of millions” of calls annually. Pindrop is working with eight of 10 of the largest banks as well as the five of the seven largest insurance companies in the U.S. Overall, the company protects more than 200 million consumer accounts and has stopped more than $350 million in voice-based fraud attacks this year.

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Pindrop Security Partners with Bank of the West

Voice security and authentication innovator Pindrop Security will provide fraud detection solutions for Bank of the West. The San Francisco, California-based financial services company with more than $89 billion in assets will leverage the security specialist’s technology to identify and mitigate a variety of cyberthreats including caller ID spoofing, voice distortion, and social engineering.

“Pindrop’s machine learning technology allows us to better know our customers and more effectively protect their assets,” Bank of the West’s Head of Enterprise Customer Experience Patricia Nowak said. “Using emerging technology to better serve our customers is a key initiative for Bank of the West.”

With more than 600 branches and offices in 23 states and digital channels, Bank of the West sees its partnership with Pindrop as part of its broader commitment to leveraging innovative technology to provide customers with a unique and secure experience. In Pindrop, Bank of the West will enhance its ability to proactively defend against fraud while maintaining a seamless customer journey over the voice channel.

“Bank of the West will see an improved customer experience with the implementation of our solutions,” SVP of Product for Pindrop Security Scott Rose said. “These results are made possible by Pindrop’s machine learning technology, which enables improved fraud detection and delivers value to the customer from the very first time they contact the bank.”

Founded in 2011, Pindrop Security demonstrated its Fraud Detection System at FinovateFall 2012. Its anti-fraud and authentication solutions – Pindrop Protect and Pindrop Passport, respectively – leverage the company’s Phoneprinting, Toneprinting, and Deep Voice Biometric Engine technologies to provide call centers with protection against both known cybercriminals as well as suspicious, atypical behavior that could indicate fraudulent activity.

This spring, the company announced that it would provide its Phoneprinting technology to U.K.-based, online retailer Shop Direct to help the company improve customer service and fight fraud. Also earlier this year, Pindrop teamed up with voice solutions provider Aeriandi to make its phone authentication and anti-fraud technology available via Aeriandi’s cloud-based voice platform.

With more than $122 million in funding, Pindrop Security includes Andreessen Horowitz, IVP (Institutional Venture Partners), and CapitalG among its investors. Co-founder Vijay Balasubramaniyan is CEO and CTO.

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Pindrop Introduces New Biometric Solution: Tongueprinting

Update 4/2: It appears as if Pindrop got started on April Fool’s fun a little early this year. If you missed the joke, the company’s website still features their “latest biometric “solution.”

If you felt the urge to check the date to make sure today was not the first of April when reading the news of Pindrop’s latest biometric breakthrough, don’t worry. You’re probably not alone.

FinTechFuture’s Antony Peyton reports that the Atlanta-based anti-fraud and authentication specialist has unveiled Tongueprinting, a technology that analyses every person’s unique tongue as its newest biometric engine. FinTechFutures is Finovate’s sister publication.

The idea is for Tongueprinting to stop fraudsters from taking over legitimate accounts by spoofing the call centre with automated bots, social engineering, and knowledge-based authentication questions. Tongueprinting will also help companies build a “frictionless customer experience that are fun, taste good and are easy as a lick of the tongue”.

Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and cofounder, Pindrop, said: “Tongueprinting not only adds an extra layer of security and authentication, it increases the opportunities to generate additional antibodies leading to a healthier user over time.”

According to the firm, the technology analyses thousands of tiny bumps called papillae, as well as factors such as shape, texture, size, spacing of buds and the behaviour of the lick.

Pindrop said it takes “only seconds” – lick your phone, and authentication is achieved. The tongue “lives in your mouth” (we know), and is a “protected unit”, that is safe from external elements avoiding challenges facing other biometrics like frostbite, pink eye and laryngitis.

The firm also cited research by scientists at the University of Arizona, which found that cell phones carry ten times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

Pindrop research shows that licking your phone on average 47 times a day to unlock it, reduces the build-up of bacteria and “ultimately leads to healthier phone owners”.

The company was founded in 2011 and is venture-backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Citi Ventures, Felicis Ventures, CapitalG, GV, and IVP. Pindrop demonstrated its Fraud Detection System at FinovateFall 2012.

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Pindrop Partners with Voice Solutions Provider Aeriandi

Voice authentication specialist Pindrop Security has partnered with voice solutions provider Aeriandi. The agreement will make Pindrop’s phone channel authentication and antifraud technology available over Aeriandi’s cloud-hosted secure voice platform.

In a statement on the homepage of the Oxford, U.K.-based company, Aeriandi highlighted how Pindrop’s Identity Assessment Engine provided call center agents with a quick – under 30 second – assessment of the risks of an incoming call. In addition to a risk score, agents are also provided custom instructions for additional authentication when necessary. “This process allows agents to quickly and easily assess the true identity of callers, using a single interface,” the statement read. “Those deemed to be high risk are subjected to more stringent security checks, while genuine callers have a smoother experience as a result of less security screening each time they call.”

Pindrop’s Identity Assessment Engine relies on the company’s Phoneprinting technology. This technology analyzes more than 1,300 different features of an audio call to determine actual device type, geo-location, carrier and more to create a distinct telephony profile. Phoneprinting provides more than ANI/CLI validation, and offers universal coverage against and anomalous behavior detection of both repeat fraudsters and first time callers.

Recently profiled in Forbes.com, Pindrop began the year with the launch of its deep neural network-powered biometric engine, Deep Voice. The company said that the new technology, which provides voice ID, more than triples its addressable market from $2.5 billion to $7.8 billion. “Our newly patented Deep Voice engine is creating new opportunities for Pindrop as we see voice eating all other interfaces,” Pindrop CEO and co-founder Vijay Balasubramaniyan explained. He said the addition of Deep Voice enabled Pindrop to offer a voice identity platform for enterprises “looking to reimagine the customer experience as voice becomes the dominant interface of choice.”

Pindrop demonstrated its Fraud Detection System at FinovateFall 2012. The company, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, announced last month that its antifraud solution had helped PSCU block $1 million in fraud in the first month of deployment. PSCU is the first credit union service provider to use Pindrop’s technology, having taken up the security specialist’s platform last year. PSCU Chief Risk Officer Jack Lynch called Pindrop’s solution “an essential step” toward its goal of providing “industry-leading fraud prevention and data protection” for members.

Pindrop has raised more than $122 million in funding. The company includes Google Capital, IVP (Institutional Venture Partners), and Andreessen Horowitz among its investors.

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