Announcement

Persona announces $17.5M funding round

With the mission to build an identity infrastructure that enables secure online human interactions

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⚡ Key takeaways

‍From its inception, Persona ventured to protect each individual’s identity online and help businesses verify their customers in a seamless and secure way. Our mission is to enable every business to know whether their customers are who they say they are, and in doing so, make online identity more human. We’ve built a solution that spans use cases and solves all the pain points of dealing with identity, from collecting and verifying sensitive data to storing and managing it. And with our recent funding round, we further commit to securing every identity interaction on the internet with a people-first solution that protects and empowers both businesses and individuals. 

Why we need to exist

As more offline interactions move online, we’re seeing a rapidly growing need for trust around knowing who individuals are. Scaling from an era where identity was table stakes for only a few industries, today we need to verify people across a variety of situations, from verifications on social platforms to keeping couriers and consumers safe on both sides of a marketplace and enabling keyless entry into rental properties — the potential use cases are endless.

At Square, I noticed this trend — that critical scenarios for verifying an individual’s identity online were rapidly increasing in both frequency and importance. As the scenarios multiplied, it became clear that there was not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. I also gained a deep appreciation for how challenging it was to find an identity verification solution that met our high end-user experience standards.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution nor a silver bullet. But there should be a better way for businesses and individuals, and that is why we are investing heavily in creating building blocks that can be mixed and matched to satisfy many use cases across industries, across the internet. 

We partner with customers across industries and use cases

With fintech and data security in our DNA, we are thrilled to support companies like Brex, Empower, Xendit, and Petal. In the gig economy and marketplace spaces, we have established partnerships with the trust & safety and onboarding teams at UrbanSitter and Outdoorsy. Persona’s solution is also powering real estate players like Rently.

Across these companies and use cases, we serve international customers and user bases. To provide global clients with flexibility, Persona supports verification in 192+ countries and 10 localized languages.

Why we are different

Persona makes identity verification more secure by prioritizing data privacy ‍

At Persona, we’ve seen how personal data that used to be an asset has now become a liability. No company wants to be the next big hack or data leak victim. Persona protects customers from liability by only giving them the PII (personally identifiable information) data they need to operate their business. While we take pride in building identity verification (IDV) that makes online identity more human, we believe that eliminating humans from the review process is the only way to verify identities in a secure and scalable way. We increase security by granting access only to those who need it, while automating what has historically been a slow and painful process.

Much like payments, in which the advent of companies like Shopify, Paypal, and Stripe finally addressed the concern over payment information safety, Persona exists to change the conversation around and emphasis on data privacy in online identity. ‍

Persona’s ease of use enhances the experience for both users and businesses‍

Historically, identity verification and a seamless user experience have not gone hand-in-hand. That’s why Persona’s unique user-centric and design-forward approach to identity verification has been so well received by customers.

We know that no one likes to share their personal information, so we’ve reduced the friction involved with verifying your identity online. Persona makes identity verification feel seamless, tailoring the experience based on the individual's unique risk profile to streamline the process for individuals while deterring fraud.

Moreover, Persona is easy to use for the businesses and organizations who adopt it to verify their customers — 10 lines of code versus integrating with 100+ partners.

Persona’s solution adapts to any business ‍

Persona utilizes best practices: database lookups, reverse phone lookups, document verification, government ID verification, and selfie scans. While we do use artificial intelligence and facial recognition to mitigate deep fakes and synthetic identity fraud, we know that those techniques are not a silver bullet, but rather just one part of our holistic and complete identity infrastructure solution.

Looking forward, we're continuing to invest in new features that enable organizations to better automate identity workflows, collect sensitive personal information, and attain environmental signals to assess individual risk, as we continue to build the identity layer of the internet.

If you’d like to chat with us, please reach out to [email protected]

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About Persona

Persona is an identity verification platform that enables any business to securely and seamlessly verify an individual’s identity in less than 10 lines of code. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Persona is backed by Coatue and First Round Capital, along with angel investments from Zach Perret and William Hockey (cofounders of Plaid), Dylan Field (cofounder and CEO of Figma), Scott Belsky (CPO of Adobe, cofounder of Behance) and Tony Xu (cofounder and CEO of DoorDash).

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