A new player is entering the increasingly competitive authentication market. Passage is a passwordless authentication specialist that seeks to take advantage of the biometric hardware that now comes standard on many smartphones, and it is now emerging from stealth mode to make the beta version of its platform available to interested developers.
Passage has also raised $4 million in funding to support those efforts. The round was led by LiveOak Venture Partners, with additional input from Next Coast Ventures, Tau Ventures, and Secure Octane, in addition to several angel investors.
According to Passage, its solution will make it easier for businesses to integrate passwordless authentication into their customer-facing workflows. The platform allows people to use device biometrics to log into mobile applications, or to log into sites through a web browser. The biometric authentication process can be carried out with Face ID or Touch ID, Windows Hello, or with some other built-in biometric scanner.
Passage’s offering delivers two-factor authentication, since it performs the biometric match and verifies the device that is used to complete the scan to confirm possession. The company itself does not store any biometric data to help preserve user privacy.
“There’s often a tradeoff between security and user experience, but Passage offers a unique combination of both with low implementation complexity,” said Passage Co-Founder and CEO Cole Hecht. “This financing will allow us to introduce Passage to more developers, and deliver more ‘ah-ha’ moments when people sign up for websites with Face ID, Touch ID, or Windows Hello for the first time.”
Passage believes that its solution will eliminate phishing and account takeover attacks, while simultaneously mitigating administrative costs for businesses that will no longer need to store passwords or deal with reset requests. The streamlined authentication process is also expected to deliver a better user experience, which in turn reduces customer abandonment rates. The Passage solution is based on the FIDO Alliance’s WebAuthn standard.
February 2, 2022 – by Eric Weiss