D-ID, a Tel Aviv-based startup looking to protect identities from face recognition technologies, has landed $4m in seed financing.
The round was led by Pitango Venture Capital with participation from Y Combinator, Foundation Capital, Fenox Venture Capital, Maverick Ventures, and two angel investors. Rami Kalish, managing general partner and co-founder at Pitango Venture Capital, will join D-ID’s?Board of Directors as part of the deal.
Advancements in AI technology has seen Face Recognition algorithms being increasingly adopted by organizations. However, with consumers becoming more conscious of how their data is stored, used and protected; and regulations like GDPR?in Europe, those organisations have to now ?implement better data protection policies.
D-ID, which stands for de-identification, is hoping to protect the data found in images by making it impossible for algorithms to read it. Founded in 2017 by CEO?Gil Perry, COO?Sella Blondheim?and CTO?Eliran Kuta, the company has developed technology that produces images, which are unrecognizable to facial recognition algorithms while keeping them indistinguishable to the human eye and is designed to be difficult for AI to overcome. Perry and Blondheim both served in the Israeli Special Forces, and Kuta served for ten years as a captain in 8200.
Perry said in a statement: “Our roles in the military service, made us become aware and sensitive to sharing photos over the web, as well as to the risks that facial recognition technologies pose to privacy. We started working on a solution before people even knew a problem exists. And today everybody’s privacy is gone. Our biometric data is being collected and used irresponsibly by governments and organizations. D-ID?is here to change that.”
D-ID fundraise comes just months before the new European Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in?May 2018. The legislation will require all companies that handle personal data of EU citizens to meet data protection requirements. Under the GDPR, face images are “Sensitive Personal Data” which are subject to additional security requirements and restrictions. D-ID is the first of its kind to offer a specific solution to protect images by way of Privacy by Design. The start-up is an alumni of both Y Combinator S17 Batch and of EISP 8200.
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