Voice fraud prevention and authentication has gotten a boost with a Google Capital-led $75 million Series C funding round for Pindrop.
As physical and online security receive more attention, attackers are moving on to using the telephone to commit their crimes. Additionally, cyber-criminals tend to look for fresh opportunities, and accordingly, voice-enabled devices are creating new avenues for identity theft and fraud. Voice has become the de facto interface for the internet of things (IoT) and intelligent assistants like Apple’s Siri.
The result of these trends coalescing is an epidemic of phone fraud, identity theft and social engineering that means the loss of more than $20 billion annually in the US alone. In 2015, social engineering over the phone was responsible for account takeover and monetization activity for both data breaches and mobile payments.
To combat the problem, Pindrop’s phone-printing technology analyzes voice interactions to authenticate customers and detect identity theft leading to fraud.
“Voice fraud is a large, expensive and unsolved problem for many enterprises, and Pindrop is taking a truly unique approach, helping its customers save millions of dollars by preventing voice fraud,” said Gene Frantz, partner at Google Capital. "As voice commands become the standard across intelligent assistants, cars and the internet of things, Pindrop is creating the leading authentication and security solution for this exploding market. We are excited to be an investor based on the company's momentum, unique technology and large market opportunity.”
The move by Google Capital, with participation from GV, Andreessen Horowitz, IVP, Citi Ventures and Felicis, brings the company’s total funding to $122 million to date.
“Working closely with Google Capital gives us amazing access to their expertise in phone and voice related technologies,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO and co-founder at Pindrop. “Voice is the future, and today’s investment will help accelerate our global expansion and allow us to invest more dollars into research and development as we continue building the definitive platform that enables security, trust and identity in the voice world.”
Pindrop protects the phone calls of three of the four largest banks in the United States as well as insurance companies, government agencies and retailers. Pindrop’s revenue also tripled in the last year, while its customer base doubled, with its antifraud call center platform handling more than 360 million calls.
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