Romanian typing biometrics startup TypingDNA has secured a $7 million Series A funding round, led by Google’s AI-focused VC firm Gradient Ventures. The 2016-founded company, based in Romania and New York City, uses machine learning algorithms to identify users based on the way they type. The platform reduces the risk of fraud and enables more effective authentication and password recovery. The company’s two leading verticals are education and finance.
“We’re excited about TypingDNA’s developer-first approach to enable people to authenticate securely based on how they type,” Darian Shirazi, General Partner at Gradient Ventures, said in a statement. “With global regulation impacting face-recognition-based authentication and hackers targeting SMS-based two-factor authentication, typing biometrics is the best form of identifying people without compromising privacy or security.”
The current round, which also featured contributions from GapMinder Ventures and Techstars Ventures, brings TypingDNA’s total funding to $8.8m.
It is one in a long line of Romania-founded companies that have made the eastern EU member one of Europe’s brightest tech locations. In 2017 the country’s startups welcomed $53m in private funding. According to analyst RomanianStartups the state hosts 385 tech companies and 12 incubators. TechCrunch has dubbed Romania the “Silicon Valley of Transylvania.”
Gradient Ventures has been busy in recent months, pouring millions into insurtech operations like Boston’s Openly and New York-based Young Alfred. It has also come under fire for backing military and police AI, despite an employee revolt over its development of Project Maven, a US Department of Defense drone-capability plan.