Security Experts:

Andreessen Horowitz and Citi Ventures Drop $11M Into Phone Fraud Prevention Startup

Security Firm Raises $11 Million To Help Combat Bank Phone Fraud and Improve Enterprise Call Center Security

Pindrop Security, a startup focused on combating phone-based fraud, today announced the close of an $11 Million Series A investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Citi Ventures.

Phindrop Security

The Atlanta, Georgia-based company provides solutions that help detect and block phone-based fraud. The company explains that its technology can detect fraudulent calls and authenticate legitimate callers, helping customers reduce financial losses and operational costs. The company also says its technology can verify the geographic origin of a call and the phone type based on audio analysis. 

Pindrop’s cofounders include Paul Judge and Georgia Tech professors Dr. Mustaque Ahamad and Dr. Patrick Traynor. Judge serves as executive chairman and was previously CTO of CipherTrust which was acquired by Secure Computing, CTO of Secure Computing which was acquired by McAfee, and founder and CTO of Purewire which was acquired by Barracuda Networks.

According to the company, the new cash injection will help fuel customer demand with additional resources in engineering, operations, sales and marketing in the US, Canada and Europe.

New investors in the round include Redpoint Ventures and Felicis Ventures alongside Webb Investment Network (WIN) who previously led the company’s seed round that was announced in March 2012.

As part of the deal, Scott Weiss, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will join the board of directors.

“Phone systems are the weakest link in fraud and authentication for corporations and attackers are exploiting that,” said Scott Weiss. “Pindrop Security has a world-class team tackling this problem. Their unique acoustic fingerprinting technology allows customers to predict unknown fraud, identify repeat criminal rings and transparently authenticate legitimate customers.”

According to the company, its "acoustic analysis technology" breaks down over 140 audio characteristics of each call. Location of the caller and the type of device being used to originate the call (VoIP, Cell, Land) are pinpointed with over 90% accuracy, they say.

“Enterprises, and particularly financial institutions, are facing increasing volumes of attacks from sophisticated social engineering operations,” said Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Pindrop Security co-founder and CEO. “Pindrop’s solutions are the first tool for financial institutions and enterprises to detect and stop these attacks accurately and consistently on the first call. This investment will allow us to meet the tremendous market demand we’re experiencing.”

Pindrop says its solution can accurately identify over 80% of attackers immediately, when they first call, something they say can save organizations millions in losses and call time and improve the overall customer experience.

“The support of such an elite group of investors is a testament to the tremendous market opportunity that exists for Pindrop,” said Dr. Paul Judge, Pindrop Security Executive Chairman and co-founder. “We have formed a world-class team and built revolutionary technology that is now deployed at some of the largest companies in the world. Our vision is nothing short of bringing trust back to the phone channel and we are confident that we will continue to accelerate our growth and deliver breakthrough solutions.” 

view counter
For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.