London-based startup Keyless has raised $2.2 million through seed funding with the aim to extend a security service that grants access to the private keys of users with the help of biometric data.
The cyber security startup alleges to be the first company that blends biometric data with secure multi-tenancy computations globally.
The investment round was led by the venture fund gumi Cryptos Capital. Other investors that took part are Ripple’s Xpring, LuneX and Blockchain Valley Ventures.
As Keyless co-founder and chief technology officer, Paolo Gasti noted they don’t want the network to spy on user biometrics, and shared the difference in their product:
“This way the authentication happens right there and wasn’t just a session replay of a previous authentication.”
Keyless already concluded the beta testing period and integrated their premier product, named the Keyless Authenticator, with two crypto wallet customers. Their authentication mechanism will guard private data across cloud, IoT and mobile technologies.
The cybersecurity company is currently working on integration with two other organizations with the aim to launch their product by the end of 2019.
According to Ethan Beard, Ripple Xpring’s Senior VP, they saw potential in Keyless’ adoption in various business sectors, most notably crypto.
He backed their decision:
“During our technical review, we found Keyless’ solution to be clever and well thought out… We believe Keyless’ solution will be particularly welcomed by wallet providers and exchanges to accelerate the verification process for crypto holders.”
The startup is using secure multi-party computation which allows users to split encrypted segments of biometric information like their face, fingerprints or even voice.
The same is applied to parts of a machine-learning algorithm that determines the data and then sends it to multiple nodes. These nodes are operated by firms on the Keyless network and the user.
Gasti expects that as long as the company is still experimenting with the technical side, each user will have five nodes related to their account and three of them would have to reach a consensus before decryption of the biometric data.
The most praised aspect of the new product is its speed. In the past, the same process has been performed by scientists in 20-30 seconds while Keyless is making the same computation for under 100 milliseconds.
As Gasti commented on the process:
“We’ve known since the 1980s that this was possible… and we’ve been working on this for ten years.”
As a conclusion, he summarized:
“The product allows low-latency execution without having any effect on security.”