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AI-powered authentication platform Callsign raises $35m to boost global expansion


Callsign, an AI-powered authentication platform, has raised $35m (£26.8m) in a Series A round led by Accel and early-stage investor PTB Ventures.

Allegis Capital and cybersecurity industry veteran David DeWalt’s NightDragon Security also participated in the round.

Callsign has developed a deep learning-based authentication platform called Intelligence Driven Authentication, which it claims, allows firms to select the most secure and least invasive authentication journey for each user in real-time, based on his or her risk profile and tendencies.

Founded in 2012, the firm currently serves enterprises, financial institutions and consumer-facing digital services.

Zia Hayat, the founder and CEO, 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.”

DeWalt will join the board of directors as vice chairman. He 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.”

The money will be used to help accelerate the company’s growth as it looks to expand globally with a particular focus on the US and the Far East.

Harry Nelis, a partner at Accel, will also join the board,  added: “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 board of directors.