Footprint raised $13M Series A led by QED InvestorsRead more

Eli Wachs
Eli Wachs


May 21, 2024

3 min. read

Footprint raises $13M Series A led by QED Investors

We’re thrilled to announce our $13M Series A round led by QED Investors. The round included participation from existing investors Index Ventures, Lerer Hippeau, Operator Partners, BoxGroup, Palm Tree Capital, and Definition. New investors Neo and Animal Capital also participated. Exclusive coverage of the round can be found by Business Insider here, and you can read QED’s announcement here.

Footprint was started almost two years ago to remove the toggle between fraud and friction on the internet. In our seed memo, we described the current paradigm today:

Every time we verify our identity...we go through the same process. This ensuing dance leads to lost revenue, bad actors being let in, and good actors being kept out. Enterprises call on software to call on siloed databases to verify the identity of people with no involvement from that actual person.

Two years later, we believe we are well on our way to solving this. Footprint started by bringing together KYC + Security. This has expanded into a compound onboarding suite which also includes fraud detection and authentication. Our suite utilizes game-changing technology such as nitro enclaves, passkeys, and app clips to change the philosophy around how we verify people online.

Core to Footprint is a new philosophy around who fraud and KYC companies should be trying to identify. Companies look to screen out bad actors but there are an infinite amount. In the new age of GenAI, fraudsters have even more tools to mass-create an abundant amount of authentic-seeming identities. Today, product and risk teams at companies face a familiar tradeoff between fraud and friction. In the past, the best way to reduce fraud was to add friction to the onboarding experience, but increased friction may deter some authentic users. By contrast, companies that over-optimized for conversion with lower friction risked higher potential fraud losses over time.

This is because current point solutions are not able to fundamentally address the root problems. Existing backend KYC tools are unable to actively assess behavioral risk – for example, whether a name or social security number was copied and pasted into a form. A fraud detection tool may be able to pick up those red flags, but it has no capability to challenge the user by asking for additional documentation to verify their identity. We needed a new approach – one that labels good actors – so Footprint created a centralized network of authentic, de-duplicated identities. Now we can narrow the scope of who is in a pre-vetted field, leaving fraudsters less room to hide.

We are using the Series A funding to double down on product and help companies in a much more robust way than KYC tools traditionally had. Our Compliance Automation tool has been built to help Fintechs, Partner Banks, and BaaS providers navigate a new age of regulatory scrutiny. Our new Fraud Suite has been designed to unify rules engines and make decisions to protect CIPs and company bottom lines. Footprint Auth is a way to make it significantly easier to onboard existing users onto new products within a company, without the need to fill out a new form and create a new data silo. Auth, when combined with our KYC, also lets us bridge interesting worlds. One is from digital to physical (imagine a world where you rent a car online, land, auth, and do not need to go to a check-in desk). Another is from one company to another. Our new product Connections enables companies to offer each other’s products, utilizing Footprint as either a customer prospecting tool or a monetization tool. Imagine a world where you rent an apartment, and what used to be a tedious form has now sourced at the end one-click ways to get insurance or tools to pay rent.

The next two years will be even more exciting than the last two. Our network of portable identities is growing rapidly. This is bringing companies out of the never-ending search for fraudsters. The more hay we harvest, the more obvious the needles will be. Identity theft should not be an expected part of the social contract of the internet. And yet, there were over 1,000,000 cases of identity theft online last year, costing consumers over $10B. Fraud should not be a tax on the internet, and yet it likely increases all prices by ~3%. We want to build the internet where only one version of an identity exists, without someone needing to pay $340/year to protect their identity with LifeLock. We want to build the internet where people can trust companies, and companies can trust the actors they are onboarding.

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