Israeli startup BioCatch, which utilizes behavioral biometrics to develop user identification technologies, announced a $20 million extension to its Series C round. The investment was led by four major multinational banks including Barclays, Citi, HSBC, and National Australia Bank. The extension brings the total Series C investment to $168 million, starting last April when the company received $145 million in funding.

Mega funding round extended

BioCatch’s approach to cyber-security reminds a bit of a “catch a killer” show on Netflix, the company focuses on behavioral biometrics to characterize users by their behavior and thus prevent fraudulent activity, rather than just adding layers and layers of end-point security measures. The Israeli startup’s system analyzes over 2000 different parameters that create a user behavioral profile, and models for authorized or malicious behavior like phishing scams, bot activity, and other cyber-threats. The system goes deep into creating a comprehensive profile, by detecting how the user holds the device that they’re using, the size of their hand, if they’re righty or lefty, and even checks their hand-eye coordination, all to safely authenticate their identity.

Dana Eli-Lorch, Managing Director at American Express Ventures explains that "Particularly as many businesses moved online with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing digital fraud has become more important than ever. We are very excited to join the effort and continue to support BioCatch both as an investor and Client Innovation Board member.”

Every month the company tracks more than 5 billion interactions and alerts to any behavioral anomaly detected on the network in real-time. This way the fraudulent activity is stopped at its origin, helping reduce fraud management operational costs.

"BioCatch is defining a novel category in digital engagements and has an impressive success record in the financial industry,” said Ornit Shinar, Head of Ventures Investments in Citi Israel.

In addition to the funding announcement, BioCatch also established BioCatch Client Innovation Board. The invitation-only Innovation Board will be a collaborative forum where members will meet regularly to develop new, creative and cutting-edge ways to leverage and scale the unique attributes of behavior. The four investing banks and longtime BioCatch investor American Express Ventures will each be allocated two seats on the Client Innovation Board.

“We are extremely excited that five of the largest and most important global financial institutions are working with BioCatch to jointly address today’s most pressing problems in the areas of online fraud, account authentication and digital identity,” said Howard Edelstein, BioCatch Chairman & CEO. “We have already seen the power of collaboration in solving difficult problems in other areas of the financial services industry, such as clearing corps, transaction networks, post-trade processing, margin calculation and collateral management, when banks work together and share knowledge, workflow and data in the common interest.”

BioCatch was founded in 2011 by Avi Turgeman and the late Benny Rosenbaum. The company has 65 employees split between the Tel Aviv R&D center and the U.S. headquarters. To date, BioCatch has raised a total of $212 million. The last funding round was led by Bain Capital, with participation from Industry Ventures, Maverick Ventures, CreditEase, American Express Ventures, and OurCrowd.