On April 24, 2020, with massive uncertainty circling the market, Israeli startup D-ID raised over $13.5 million as part of its Round A fundraising.
Led by AXA Venture Partners, investors in the round included Pitango Venture Capital, Y-Combinator, AI Alliance, Hyundai Motor Company, OMRON Ventures, Maverick Ventures (U.S.), Mindset Ventures and Redds Capital. D-ID plans to direct the funds to grow its sales and marketing activities, as well as continue to invest in R&D.
“Raising this level of investor interest during a period of economic uncertainty speaks to the need our solutions fill,” said Sella Blondheim, COO and co-founder at D-ID.
“The convergence of increased surveillance and individual privacy protection places enterprises in a position where they must either anonymize their stored footage or risk violating privacy laws and face costly penalties.”
What does D-ID do?
D-ID provides privacy solutions to enterprises who record or photograph individuals. Their proprietary software removes key biometric data from pictures and videos, while preserving key attributes such as age, gender and emotion.
The company’s photo protection and video anonymization solutions ensure the privacy of individuals caught on film or camera, and allows organizations to store the media without risking heavy fines.
Why Do investors care now?
Investors understand that corporations and individuals are in need of video and photo anonymization software, so that they can both protect their customers and users and comply with GDPR and other privacy regulations. While the pandemic has certainly hurt numerous industries, it has highlighted the need for privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) like those of D-ID.
“Protection against surveillance is one of the most sought-after ideas of the 21st century, and we look forward to seeing D-ID fill a glaring gap in the marketplace,” said Rami Kalish General Managing Partner & Co-Founder at Pitango Venture Capital. “Their commitment to global privacy will aim to bolster industries, societies, and our communities.”
Verticals that need anonymization and de-identification solutions
The need for anonymization spreads across industries and borders. In the automotive sector, driver monitoring systems (DMS) capture drivers’ faces, while medical facilities need to be especially mindful of higher privacy standards.
Smart cities, media and entertainment ventures, and CCTVs are capturing and storing video footage at an unprecedented clip. The current pandemic has also fueled the rise of government surveillance, while enterprises store tens of thousands of hours of video every day.
“Visual data is being used by an increasing number of companies and services. This includes facial images that contain sensitive biometric data,” said Manish Agarwal General Partner at AXA Venture Partners.
“We have been impressed by the quality of the team at D-ID and they have created a product to safeguard that biometric data, which will go a long way in protecting these companies across the globe”
The D-ID team and tech
D-ID was formed by Gil Perry, Sella Blondheim, and Eliran Kuta, veterans of Israel’s elite 8200 intelligence units. These out-of-the-box innovators rose to the challenge of creating the first facial image de-identification solution, to protect privacy without influencing usability.
D-ID employs world-class experts in the fields of deep learning and computer vision. D-ID’s IP-protected solutions are being successfully implemented in leading fortune 500 companies and institutions worldwide.