London-based PixelPin raises €1.7 million for its image-based password solution

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UK startup PixelPin, which uses image-based authentication by replacing passwords with pictures, has announced it has closed a €1.7 million in a Pre-Series A funding round.

The round was led by Japanese SBI Investment, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, formerly known as Softbank Investment. SBI Investment invested €1.16 million from the SBI AI & Blockchain Fund. An additional investment of €580k from existing Angel investors completed the round, bringing it to €1.7 million in total.

PixelPin will use the new funds to target new customers in the finance and retail sectors and support continued product development. In addition, the funding is being used to establish new offices in Tokyo to act as a base for the company’s expansion into Japan and the wider Asian market. The company already has offices in London and Cheltenham.

PixelPin’s cloud-based platform, hosted on Microsoft Azure, replaces passwords and PINs with a secure and user-friendly means of logging into their online accounts for banking, shopping, and more. Instead of remembering a password or PIN, users can select a picture and four specific points on that picture that must be selected in sequence to login to their online accounts. PixelPin’s platform also boasts a stellar success rate so far: it takes an average of just 10 seconds for a user to login and one minute to register, and has a login success rate (92%) – three times higher than for passwords (30%).

“This latest round of investment is a fantastic step forward for PixelPin and illustrates the level of confidence the global investor community has PixelPin and the UK fintech industry,” commented Geoff Anderson, CEO and co-founder of PixelPin. “We’ve been extremely diligent in our search for the right investor partners and are delighted that SBI Group has chosen to work with us as we look to expand our reach into Japan and the wider Asian market where we’re sure the group’s knowledge and experience will be a huge asset.”

“For everyone who has been locked out of their online banking for guessing their logins one too many times it’s clear that the passwords and PINs we’re forced to use aren’t fit for purpose,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, President & CEO of SBI Holdings. “PixelPin’s solution creates a highly personalised and easy-to-use login experience that will be particularly popular with a tech-first younger generation but does this without compromising security – in fact, making it much more secure than passwords. In addition we see real potential for businesses to create value added services on this platform, turning security into a revenue generator.”

This funding round brings PixelPin’s total funding to date to €4 million, which has facilitated its expansion internationally, with partnerships across Asia, Europe and the Americas.