ID R&D, NY Biometric Startup, Grows With $6 Million in Funding

By Bruce Harpham Friday, February 12, 2021

A growing New York startup company is using artificial intelligence, or AI technology, to end reliance on passwords. ID R&D produces security technologies such as voice authentication and advanced facial recognition.

ID R&D Co-Founders Alexey Khitrov and Konstantin Simonchik.

Increasing Fraud Attempts Drives Demand

Over 70% of anti-fraud experts have reported an increase in fraud activity since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Higher fraud causes headaches for credit card and financial companies. However, higher fraud also drives up demand for anti-fraud and security solutions.

“The pandemic has increased demand for remote onboarding and authentication. There has been a rise in fraud attempts, including phishing scams that try to trick people into exposing sensitive information such as their password. Because biometrics are based on “something you are” and not “something you know,” they offer greater security,” ID R&D Co-Founder and President Alexey Khitrov said in an interview.

The Startup Company’s Key Customers

Rather than sell its technology directly to customers, the startup company sells to third parties. “The majority of ID R&D customers are integrators who use our products as part of a solution that they bring to market,” said Khitrov.

ID R&D has integrated with Synaptics, GBG, and WhatsApp. In 2014, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion.

More Than Facial Recognition

Relying only on passwords and images of faces is no longer good enough for modern security. In some cases, attackers attempt to use spoofed (i.e., fake) images and sounds to trick security systems. Traditional biometrics are sometimes limited to verifying whether the user’s image matches a government-issued ID. However, this matching system can be fooled by pictures and masks. In 2017, Apple’s facial recognition technology was fooled by a $150 mask.

ID R&D is working to prevent these types of spoofed attacks in several ways. “ID R&D has experienced tremendous growth in adoption of our facial liveness detection over the past 12 months and now has customers in more than 40 countries,” Khitrov said. Some companies like Amazon (stock ticker NASDAQ: AMZN ) are finding that voice authentication is sometimes a better choice.

“We see voice becoming more popular as call center traffic increases because of COVID and also because companies like Amazon are adding voice biometric authentication into their cloud contact center,” Khitrov added.

ID R&D Uses Artificial Intelligence

The startup company’s AI technology leverages deep neural networks and convolutional neural networks. “Our expertise lies in the ability to train and improve algorithms through the use of large datasets, including ensuring the data is properly collected and labelled, is a core reason for our market-leading performance,” explains Khitrov.

$5.7 Million Support From Investors

Its fundraising success partly fuels the company’s current growth. “In 2019, ID R&D raised $5.7 million in Series A financing. The funding round was led by GSR Ventures with participation from Gagarin Capital,” Khitrov told Startup Savant.

GSR Ventures, founded in 2005, mainly invests in early-stage AI startup companies. The venture capital fund's recent investments include Datacloak (a data security startup company) and Recurrent.ai (an AI company that improves sales efficiency).

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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