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Fingerprint recognition isn’t just for spies anymore [UPDATED]

Fingerprint sensors are a staple of spy movies, but have yet to be an integral part of life for us civilians. However, as the use of mobile devices to exchange sensitive data, like payment information and documents, continues to explode, non-spies also require additional protection.

Biometric company Validity Sensors has completed its fifth funding round of $22 million. Intel Capital led the investment, with support from World Fair and DDS. The company announced raising the first $10 million tranche of a $20 million round on October 18, 2012.

Validity Sensors offers Natural ID solutions that authenticate users by their unique human characteristics, like fingerprints, voice, and face. Fingerprinting is the most effective method of verifying identity, and the flagship technology LiveFlex can securely replace or supplement passwords and pins.

This Series E will be funneled towards shifting the focus of the business. Whereas before, Validity Sensors shipped products to PC manufactures and was geared towards enterprise customers, it is now pivoting to the mobile and tablet market.

According to a March 2012 study by the Federal Reserve, 42% of consumers do not fully trust that their financial information is secure via mobile payments. By making consumers more comfortable carrying out transactions using their phones, the technology opens more opportunities for online commerce. Furthermore, as professionals continue to conduct business outside of secure company networks, there is a greater need to protect their data.

TeleSoft Partners took the lead on the investment, with full participation from previous investors Crosslink Capital, Panorama Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, and Venture Tech Associates.

This $22 million brings the total amount raised to $84.6 million. Validity Sensors is based in San Jose and was founded in 2000.

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