London-based Passbase raises €530k for its digital identity verification solution that emphasises user privacy

Passbase Founders - Felix Gerlach, Mathias Klenk, Dave McGibbon
Passbase Founders - Felix Gerlach, Mathias Klenk, Dave McGibbon

With advances in public-key cryptography, biometric authentication, and machine intelligence, Passbase aims to improve the state of privacy and security online by building a full-stack identity solution.

The London-based cybersecurity startup is reimagining identity verification by giving  individuals ownership of their most sensitive identity data and control over who can access it, while providing businesses with the tools they need to reduce fraud, combat fake accounts, reduce the risk of data breaches, and effortlessly comply with privacy regulations.

Passbase has recently closed a pre-seed round of €530k from angel investors from Alphabet, Stanford, Kleiner Perkins, EY, Upheaval, and Seedcamp.

With its first enterprise product, Passbase aims to revolutionise the $10 billion identity verification market by offering developers a simple tool to securely identify their users by combining biometric signatures and verified government IDs. Taking inspiration from payment provider Stripe, Passbase’s verification tool can be integrated in under three minutes.

As a part of the Passbase Beta Program, companies can sign-up to try out the product and receive 1,000 free verifications. The Passbase team combines experience from Alphabet’s ambitious R&D division GoogleX, biometric authentication company UnifyID, and German growth machine Rocket Internet.

“The digital world we live in is crying out for a better identity system,” said Seedcamp Partner Sia Houchangnia. “Passbase isn’t the first company to go after this massive opportunity but  we believe with all the recent privacy-related scandals, the timing is right for a decentralized approach to  the problem which puts people in control of their most sensitive data. To go after such a huge problem, it requires a stellar team that works 10x harder than the rest and we are confident we have found just that with Dave, Mathias, and Felix.”   

The team plans to launch their consumer product within the next few weeks, which will allow people to track their digital footprint and take back control over the data they have shared with businesses and websites.

“We believe this is the first step towards giving people back control over their personal  information online,” said Mathias Klenk, Passbase co-founder. “Businesses will always need to identify their users, but with Passbase they can do that in a seamless, privacy-preserving way.”