Pre-Crime Startup BioCatch Raises $10M Series A

If you’ve ever seen the movie Minority Report, you’ll be familiar with the “Precognition” concept: the ability to see into the future — in the film’s case, to stop a crime before it’s actually committed a.k.a “Pre-crime”. Israeli startup BioCatch, based on its own “behavioural biometric authentication and threat detection” technology, effectively does just that, to enable banks and e-commerce companies to stop online fraud before it happens.

Today the company is announcing it’s closed a $10 million Series A round led by OurCrowd, and Blumberg Capital. The new capital will be used to expand Tel Aviv-based BioCatch’s R&D efforts and push for growth in its key markets, including North America, Europe and Brazil.

BioCatch “collects and analyses over 400 bio-behavioral, cognitive and physiological parameters” to create unique user profiles for visitors to banking and e-commerce sites. The idea is to reduce risky transactions and stop cyber-threats, such as Account Takeovers, Man-in-the-Browser (MitB) Malware and Remote Access (RAT) attacks, by using its “invisible” tech to authenticate visitors upon their return to a site as well as identify users exhibiting behaviors consistent with fraudsters.

Its ‘special sauce’ is based on what the company calls “invisible challenges” that appear on a site when you try to log in or interact with it in another way, such as setting up a transaction. As an example, a user’s cursor may be set to disappear for a second so that BioCatch can record and analyse how they try to retrieve it i.e. the way a user wiggles the mouse to try to locate it on the screen. From this behaviour it builds a profile of the user that can be used to help authenticate them in future. Think of BioCatch as the “last line of defence”; it doesn’t replace other types of authentication and fraud detection but attempts to stop cybercrime before it happens.

Over the last year, its tech has been deployed in eight banks, eCommerce sites and enterprises in six countries. It counts RSA (acquired by EMC) and Trusteer (acquired by IBM) as competitors. Prior to today’s Series A round, BioCatch raised $4 million in 2011.