New comer Transmit Security wants to simplify biometric authentication

Transmit Security, a new security startup that wants to make it easier for developers to implement biometric authentication, came out of stealth today with $40 million in self-funding.

With all of the high-profile hacks over the last several years from the DNC to Sony to Target; it’s clear that we need better ways to prevent unauthorized access to our computer networks. One of the weakest links is the password. Transmit is trying to give developers an easier way to implement more advanced authentication techniques such as eye, fingerprint or facial recognition, via a user’s mobile device.

Programmers have long known they could help minimize the authentication/fraud problem, while simplifying log ins, using biometrics. The trouble has been that it’s too expensive and time-consuming to implement. Transmit allows developers to add these advanced authentication techniques via APIs and a simple rules engine, drastically reducing the implementation time.

“Other authentication platforms are single purpose — facial or eye or touch ID or fingerprint or voice — and require going through a [lengthy] software development lifecycle and code-level modifications to the application in order to deliver authentication via a user’s mobile device. The customer has to integrate many of these through coding. The Transmit platform eliminates the need to code, and complex use cases can be written in policy in a matter of minutes,” president and co-founder Rakesh Loonkar explained.

Transmit wants to help add biometric security when it’s needed in whatever form the developer chooses. The real advantage, according to Loonkar is how quickly developers can implement a biometric solution. “A big benefit [of our approach] is that you don’t have to invest thousands of development hours on every project,” he said.

The solution can be installed on-prem in a data center or private cloud, or in the public cloud. Regardless, the application turns over control of authentication to Transmit’s servers, wherever they are installed, and it handles the rest according to whatever methods the developers have defined. The system has been designed to give companies a level or protection they probably couldn’t provide on their own. “It would be hard for an enterprise to process thousands of request for authentication in real time. Transmit is  built to handle this,” he says.

The company was founded by industry vets Loonkar and Mickey Boodaei, who launched Trusteer together in 2006, before selling it to IBM for a cool billion in 2013. That money allowed them to do a number of things, including funding some security startups. It also enabled them fund themselves when they came up with the idea for this company.

“We have relationships with key customers we’ve built over the last 18 years. We have credibility and we have our own money,” Loonkar explained.

The company, which has around 30 employees based in Boston and Israel, has its first customers in production, and according to Loonkar, have more than 10 million people using the system.