Security

Toopher funding gives location-based two factor authentication a boost

Everybody’s freaked out about passwords. We’ve got to get rid of these things, right? Well, we’re not quite there yet, so two-factor authentication companies like Toopher are needed to protect what we’ve got. Toopher, which uses your location to verify you are who you say you are just got $2 million in its first round of funding today.

The funding comes from Alsop Louie Partners. Toopher was also recently admitted into IC2 Institute, an Austin tech incubator.

Toopher’s founders Josh Alexander and Evan Grim are just as scared of the password as the rest of the security industry. It’s a weak form of protection that has been around since the dawn of the Internet — and has been barely changed since. Two-factor authentication helps passwords out by making people “prove” they are who they say they are through entering a code supposedly only accessible by the account owner. But that’s not perfect either.

Instead of relying on user input, Toopher relies on your phone’s location. When you try to log into an account that’s protected by Toopher, the software checks the computer’s location versus your phone’s location. If the computer that’s trying to access your account is in a location that isn’t “normal” for you, the user, then it will block the person from accessing your account.

Competitors in the two-factor authentication space include RSA and PhoneFactor. (Toopher, while launching on stage at the DEMO Conference in 2012, smashed some of RSA’s authenticator tokens with a hammer.)

The company was founded in 2011 and is located in Austin, Tex.

Photo courtesy of Heather Kelly for VentureBeat

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