By Steven Scheer
JERUSALEM, June 22 (Reuters) - U.S.-Israeli cybersecurity firm Transmit Security raised $543 million in an early-stage funding round, saying on Tuesday it was the largest ever Series A funding round in cybersecurity history.
The funds bring Transmit's valuation to close to $3 billion, with the round led by Insight Partners and General Atlantic, with additional investment from Cyberstarts, Geodesic, SYN Ventures, Vintage, and Artisanal Ventures.
Founded in 2014, Transmit Security said it will use the financing to expand and invest in its aim to eliminate the use of passwords by shifting to biometric authentication of websites and apps.
The company cited research that 55% of consumers stop using a website because the login process is too complex, while 87.5% find themselves locked out of an online account after too many failed login attempts.
It said that in addition to the added costs of help desks needed to reset passwords, weak passwords account for 80% of data breaches.
"By eliminating passwords, businesses can immediately reduce churn and cart abandonment and provide superior security for personal data," said Transmit Security Chief Executive and co-founder Mickey Boodaei.
"With this latest round of funding ... we can significantly expand our reach to help rid the world of passwords."
Transmit's main product is BindID, customer authentication service that is completely password-free, which requires no customer software or dedicated hardware and can be used across any channel or device. Customers can authenticate and access their accounts using the embedded fingerprint or face scanner in their devices, or use their mobile device to securely and easily authenticate to other devices and channels that don’t have an embedded biometric reader, it said.
Customers include six of the seven largest financial institutions in the United States, two of the largest merchants in the United States, and many financial organizations, merchants and online service providers in Europe, Asia and Latin America, Transmit said.
Transmit is based in Tel Aviv, with U.S. headquarters in Boston.
Boodaei in 2002 co-founded cyber firm Imperva, which went public in New York in 2011 and was later bought by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. In 2006, Boodaei co-founded Trusteer and sold the company to International Business Machines Corp in 2013 for $1 billion. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Jonathan Oatis)