Footprint, a new company that allows companies with just five lines of code to frictionlessly and securely onboard users, launched today, with $6 million in Seed funding. The company wants to put people in control of their identity while solving KYC, IDV, and PII storage problems for enterprises. The round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from the founders of Plaid, Ramp, Lattice, Moonpay, Kayak, and Jumpcloud, as well as seed-focused funds BoxGroup, Operator Partners, Lerer Hippeau, Palm Tree Crew, Not Boring Capital, and K5. Funds will be used to further product development and round out the Footprint team prior to the launch of early access this fall. Early demand has far exceeded the company’s expectations, and it will add users on a rolling basis as it scales to meet demand.
Today, every time consumers are asked to verify their identity (such as creating a bank account, applying for a credit card, or onboarding to a new job), they have to go through the same process. People enter personal data into a form, and then enterprises take a meandering path to call on databases to match the data collected in the form to data in databases. As a result, the process to verify the identity of an individual has no involvement from the actual person. While the current system can confirm if a real person–say John Smith– is trying to create an account, it does not actually verify if John Smith is the one entering John’s information, because it does not require involvement from the actual person at all. Enterprises then need to find a way to store this data, and the next time someone opens an account, they, and the company they are now interacting with, must go through the same ordeal. This is despite the fact that none of the consumer information should have changed. The repeated dance leads to lost revenue, bad actors being let in, and good actors being kept out. And it forces companies to have to store highly sensitive data, assuming risk with no upside.
A New Approach to Identity Management
There is $56 billion in identity theft each year, despite enterprises spending $10 billion on IDV – and the problem is only getting worse. Footprint changes the way verification is done to bring interoperability and real security to the internet by giving enterprises the tools to verify, authenticate, authorize, and secure identity with unparalleled accuracy. The company uses cryptography to tokenize identity, and also leverages cutting-edge biometric scans, liveness checks, and peer-to-peer verification to validate real people in real time while keeping bad actors out.
“Verifying online identities is broken for both businesses and consumers,” said Shardul Shah, Partner at Index Ventures. “The processes are siloed, high friction, inaccurate, and managed separately from data security. Footprint is the first platform that delivers verification that is both low-friction and high accuracy. The platform’s opinionated data storage architecture facilitates this breakthrough. Eli, Alex, and the footprint team have a deep-rooted passion and multi-disciplinary expertise to realize their ambition. We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about partnering with Footprint from day 0.”
Once users sign up for an account with Footprint once, they never have to fill out a form again. This is because the user’s token replaces the need to send PII such as SSNs across the web hundreds of times over the course of one’s life. Footprint hopes this new system can act as a better OAuth for Fintech.
With Footprint’s patent-pending technology, enterprises can onboard users while offloading the handling of sensitive data. Footprint’s privacy-preserving technology lets enterprises satisfy KYC without needing to ever touch PII; its secure PII vault protects user’s data while saving enterprises time and money. The company is able to also help enterprises with access control, audit logging, and permissioning.
Enterprises can also convert more customers thanks to Footprint’s ability to remove a great deal of friction through its one-click verification process. This is a huge advantage as enterprises currently report 50+% account abandonment when people must go through a ~ five-minute document verification. Footprint offers all of this in just five-lines of code, citing developer experience as a key element they wanted to make better versus current market offerings.
“Footprint is the first identity company I’ve come across to make onboarding frictionless while handling both KYC and PII storage,” said Josh Browder, founder, and CEO of DoNotPay. “I’m very excited to use the product to make our onboarding experience better at DoNotPay.”
Introducing the Last ID Verification You Ever Need
As simple to use as Apple Pay, the Footprint wallet provides the ability to live in a secure world that trusts and rewards people for being digital citizens. Footprint securely holds consumer verifiable credentials (such as SSN, DOB, email, phone number) in a protected “secure enclave”, backed by hardware-level cryptographic attestation. Each user has their own private key pair for access, and Footprint leverages the latest biometric technology from Apple and Google to verify the authenticity of users and their devices to prevent fraud. Its identity verification uses FaceID, TouchID, and more to bind user identity to a strong cryptographic credential with a verified attestation root of trust.Footprint up-levels the consumer experience by becoming their passport to the internet.
“There’s a lot of discussion around consumers owning their data, but in order for this to happen, they first have to own their identity,” said Footprint co-founder and CEO Eli Wachs. “Identity online is often tracked by one’s social security number, but social security numbers were designed to track income over time, not to open an investment account. We are giving consumers control of their identity on an entirely new level, one that’s built for the digital world. People establish their identity a single time, and then they can decide how to use it.”
Footprint was founded by Wachs, a Stanford graduate and multi-time entrepreneur who started his first company in high school, and Alex Grinman (CTO), the co-founder of Krypt.co, which was acquired by Akamai. The pair have deep roots in identity and data security. Wachs helped lead work around identity and data security investing at General Atlantic while Grinman studied Computer Science with a focus on Applied Cryptography and computing on encrypted data at MIT before building Krypt.co, a zero-trust authenticator for developers and consumers.
Wachs and Grinman have recruited an all-star team, which include early employees from Stripe, Robinhood, and Fast, to deliver on Footprint’s promise. The product is already months ahead of schedule, they are already SOC2 compliant, and the team has already struck key partnerships with Middesk to unify KYC + KYB, Argyle to bring together KYC + VoIE, ComplyAdvantage on AML, and Stytch to combine KYC + auth.
To join the Footprint waitlist or learn more, please visit about: http://www.onefootprint.com.
Footprint provides frictionless identity verification and PII vaulting for a faster, safer, better experience online. Leveraging the latest technology, Footprint makes it possible for people to own their digital identity, which enables companies to better serve them and operate more efficiently. Footprint is backed by Index Ventures as well as the founders of Plaid, Ramp, Lattice, Kayak, and Jumpcloud. It is headquartered in New York City. Learn more at http://www.onefootprint.com.
Amber Moore, Moore Communications, 1 5039439381, firstname.lastname@example.org