Pindrop Security, a startup that aims to prevent and protect against phone-based fraud, has raised $11 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with Citi Ventures, Webb Investment Network, Redpoint and Felicis Ventures participating. The startup previously raised $1 million in seed funding from A16Z and others.
Pindrop has developed a caller-ID product that helps detect, report and mitigate phone fraud by identifying key attributes of any phone call including the device used (based on audio analysis), ID, call path, and geographic point of origin. Pindrop says that its technology essentially creates a “fingerprint” that helps clients, such as banks, identify and avoid fraud.
Pindrop also offers threat intelligence service that includes a detailed database of fraudulent callers in the world as well as analysis and predictive tools to track phone number reputation as well as a technology that analyzes phone calls to identify fraud by determining the true geographic origin and phone type.
As co-founder and George Tech PhD Vijay Balasubramaniyan explains there isn’t a great wat to authenticate who is on the other end of the line of a call other than the series of security questions you get asked each time you call your bank. For example, credit card users activate their card using their phone and on the bank’s end, Caller-ID or Automatic Number Identification (ANI) is used to determine if it is the right customer. However, Pindrop says this information is limited and can be easily manipulated, leaving such services completely broken.
A number of well-known financial institutons are already implementing, says A16Z partner Scott Weiss, who will be joining the company’s board. “There is an indomitable appetite for good security technology,” Weiss tells us. “This is not a bandaid, this saves real money for users immediately.” He added that Pindrop can reduce fraud by 20 to 30 percent.
Clearly, security is a hot space for venture interest. But it’s also worth noting that Pindrop is a potential acquisition target for any financial institution who wants to own the security behind phone-based fraud detection. Stay tuned.