Footprint Emerges from Stealth to Transform Digital Identity

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In this post: Shardul Shah, Footprint

QUICK TAKE

  • Footprint, a new company that enables secure and frictionless user onboarding with just five lines of code, launched today, with $6 million in Seed funding. The round was led by Index Ventures with participation from a group of angel investors and seed funds.
  • The funds will be used to further product development and round out the Footprint team prior to the launch of early access this fall.
  • The company wants to put people in control of their identity while solving KYC, IDV, and PII storage problems for enterprises.
  • Footprint was founded by Eli Wachs, a Stanford graduate and multi-time entrepreneur who started his first company in high school, and Alex Grinman (CTO), the co-founder of Krypt.co, which was acquired by Akamai.
  • Early demand for Footprint has far exceeded the company’s expectations even before its official launch, and it will add users on a rolling basis as it scales to meet demand.

INDEX PERSPECTIVE

Index Partner Shardul Shah catches up with Footprint CEO & co-Founder Eli Wachs to discuss the origin of Footprint, traction so far, what this latest round of funding means for the future of the business, and of course… NYC pizza.

THE DETAILS

Today, when consumers are asked to verify their identity (such as creating a bank account, applying for a credit card, or onboarding to a new job), they have to go through the same process of entering their data into a form each and every time.

On the other side of that process, enterprises have to take a meandering path to call on databases to match the data collected in the form in order to validate that identity. Then, they must store the highly sensitive identity data, assuming risk with no upside.

Footprint will fundamentally change this process by giving enterprises the tools to verify, authenticate, authorize, and secure identity with unparalleled accuracy; and using cryptography to tokenize identity while leveraging cutting-edge biometric scans, liveness checks, and peer-to-peer verification to validate real people in real time while keeping bad actors out.

How Footprint’s patent-pending technology helps enterprises remove friction and increase accuracy:

  • Privacy-preserving technology lets enterprises satisfy KYC without needing to ever touch PII; its secure PII vault protects user's data while saving enterprises time and money
  • Assists enterprises with access control and permissioning
  • Increases customer conversion due to Footprint’s ability to remove a great deal of friction through its one-click verification process
  • Improves developer experience by delivering the technology in just five-lines of code

“Footprint is the first identity company I’ve come across to make onboarding frictionless while handling both KYC and PII storage,” said Josh Browder, founder and CEO of DoNotPay. “I’m very excited to use the product to make our onboarding experience better at DoNotPay.”

Footprint also helps customers protect their identity by:

  • Securely holding consumer verifiable credentials (such as SSN, DOB, email, phone number) in a protected “secure enclave”, backed by hardware-level cryptographic attestation
  • Providing each customer with their own private key pair for access, and Footprint leverages the latest biometric technology from Apple and Google to verify the authenticity of users and their devices to prevent fraud
  • Using FaceID, TouchID and more to bind user identity to a strong cryptographic credential with a verified attestation root of trust

Wachs and Grinman have recruited an all-star team, which include early employees from Stripe, Robinhood, and Fast, to deliver on Footprint’s promise. The product is months ahead of schedule, and the team has already struck key partnerships with Middesk to unify KYC + KYB, Argyle to bring together KYC + VoIE, and Stytch to combine KYC + auth.

Additional participants in the funding round included the founders of Plaid, Ramp, Lattice, Moonpay, Kayak, and Jumpcloud, as well as seed-focused funds BoxGroup, Operator Partners, Lerer Hippeau, Palm Tree Crew, Not Boring Capital, and K5.

Published — Aug. 3, 2022