Singapore’s EDBI joins US$90 million funding round in US startup Pindrop

Fri Dec 7, 2018 - 10:25am GMT+0000


6/12/2018 – EDBI, the investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board has entered the US$90 million Series D funding round in voice security and authentication startup Pindrop.

The financing in the Atlantan startup was led by London’s Vitruvian Partners, alongside the participation of existing investors CapitalG, IVP, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Citi Ventures. New strategic investors – Allegion Ventures, Cross Creek, Dimension Data, and Goldman Sachs – also invested in the round.

Commenting on the deal, EDBI’s Chief Executive and President Chu Swee Yeok said, “voice is fast emerging as the next generation human user interface (UI) with wide consumer and commercial applications, yet security remains a major concern.”

“Pindrop’s world-class AI voice security technology will be a significant enabler for wider voice UI adoption, beyond call centers. We look forward to working closely with Pindrop as a like-minded innovative player in Singapore’s vibrant AI ecosystem for their Asia expansion,” she added.

EDBI also added that their investment in Pindrop is in line with Singapore’s trusted position as both a leading global financial centre in Asia and a development hub for new human-centric digital services.

Founded in 2001, Pindrop provides a suite of multifactor anti-fraud and authentication software for call centers. Its patented Pindrop Protect technology runs in the background of calls to collect information such as location, behavior, device type, audio, voice and time of day to confirm caller identity.

By scoring each call based on AI-driven anomaly detection and using voice printing to correlate matches with what Pindrop claims is one of the world’s largest audio databases of fraudulent calls, the company contends it’s able to lower handle times by up to 60 seconds.The startup also claims to reduce fraud loss exposure by up to US$500,000 for every 1 million calls.

“Our broad range of investors collectively view Pindrop as the established industry leader for securing the future of voice as it moves beyond the voice channel and towards voice-enabled devices,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, the co-founder of Pindrop.

“This investment enables us to quickly boost our advancements in consumer IoT and voice technology while also continuing to strengthen our market-leading solutions for anti-fraud and authentication solutions for the global enterprise.”

Pindrop will use the freshly raised fund to expanding the firm’s operations to Britain, Ireland and France, in addition to extending into the Internet-of-Things (IoT) industry.

Besides, parts of the fund will also go into advancing the company’s evolution towards providing security and identity solutions for voice-assisted smart devices ranging from Google Home to smart locks to connected cars.

Moving forward, Balasubramaniyan said he sees an initial public offering (IPO) down the line for the company, citing the 137 percent increase in its revenue over the past three years.

“If the world is moving to voice and we’re providing all of security and identity for voice, I think we’ll be a very valuable public company, so absolutely that’s where we’re headed,” he told CNBC in an interview Wednesday.

On the other hand, EDBI investment in Pindrop signals the company’s intentions to establish a stronger presence in the Asian markets. With EDBI’s APJ network, Pindrop will be able to expand its go-to-market capabilities globally and serve a worldwide customer base.

Investing since 1991, EDBI is an investor in select high growth technology sectors ranging from information and communication technology (ICT), emerging technology, healthcare, and other strategic industries.