Password management startup Dashlane, now with 5M users, raises $22.5M led by TransUnion

Dashlane, the New York startup that provides a platform for users to manage their passwords and online identities across multiple sites and apps, has raised a further $22.5 million in funding and picked up a key strategic investor and partner in the process. TransUnion, a credit monitoring and ID protection company, led a Series C round, and it will use the deal to develop services with Dashlane for each other’s customers.

Others in the round included existing investors Rho Ventures, FirstMark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners. Dashlane has raised $52.5 million to date. Emmanuel Schalit, Dashlane’s CEO, said in an interview with TechCrunch that the company is not disclosing its valuation.

More specifically: “We never have, and since the meaning of these numbers is shifting rapidly up and down and are so virtual, they don’t mean anything anymore, so we are not focused on that,” he said.

The market for identity protection and password protection has perhaps never been stronger than it is today. There is a growing wave of mainstream services that you consume in the cloud that need you to authenticate who you are. But the instances of malicious hackers uncovering and using your credentials for nefarious purposes seem to be rising at an alarming rate.

Those two forces have been a big boost for Dashlane’s business. Today, the company says it has more than 5 million consumers in over 150 countries, and it has enabled $6 billion in e-commerce transactions to date.

As a point of comparison, two years ago when we covered the company’s previous round of funding, it had only 2 million users and helped process $1 billion in transactions. (Incidentally, the faster growth in transactions is also a mark of just how big a role online services plays in our lives today.)

Schalit told TechCrunch that the funding will be used in a few different areas.

The company plans to continue to build more sophisticated password-focused products for consumers — to complement existing ones, such as this handy service that lets you change passwords for multiple sites, all in one go.

But it’s also building out its B2B e-commerce business, a key way that it fits with TransUnion’s focus. Most recently, Dashlane inked a deal with Citigroup-owned Banamex in Mexico and says it has deals in the works with other financial institutions. “We will have more partnerships with banks to help with services like fraud and online payment protection,” he said. 

While its consumer products are already sold on a freemium model, there is also an opportunity to sell more services to enterprises, he said. “We are seeng a lot of appetite for enterprise versions of what we are building,” Schalit noted.

The third area is geographic expansion, with Dashlane already available across seven languages but with plans to add more. Developing markets seem to be a specific focus. “TransUnion is a leader in places like India,” he hinted.

TransUnion is one of the very big players in the space of identity protection, but coming from a different angle: it works to help you manage your credit profile, and also works with large sites to protect their transactions. It’s been progressively making more moves to shift some of its business to focus on protection for individuals, and so this is where its interest and investment in Dashlane fits.

It’s not TransUnion’s first move to tap into the startup world to build out its business: the company acquired Ireland’s TrustEv last year for $44 million to expand its e-commerce fraud protection business.

As for what the two plan to do together, the companies are not yet releasing specific services but they will represent breaking new ground for both of them. “These integrated services will focus on credit monitoring, identity and fraud protection, credit information and breaches,” notes a statement. “TransUnion will also help Dashlane expand its distribution through TransUnion’s multiple partner channels in the U.S. and globally.” John Danaher, president of TransUnion Consumer Interactive, will also join Dashlane’s board.

Schalit said the first services will come to the market in Q4 of this year.

“We are impressed by Dashlane’s capabilities from a product and technology standpoint,” said Danaher in a statement. “Dashlane’s mission is straightforward, and the company is uniquely positioned to benefit from the ever-increasing need for simple, secure digital identity solutions. We feel TransUnion, with its vast array of credit and identity protection services and its global consumer reach, can help accelerate Dashlane’s growth even further.”

Carl Pascarella, former CEO of Visa, has also joined Dashlane’s board with this round, as an independent director.  “Dashlane’s ability to facilitate payments and help reduce fraud is uniquely relevant for financial institutions,” said Pascarella.  “I am excited to have an opportunity to lend my experience to help the team at Dashlane accomplish their vision for secure information and online payments.”