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Passwords? Nah. Nok Nok Labs takes $16.5M for the next generation of authentication

Foal Eagle '98

Wake up and smell the brute force: Passwords are not the best way to log in to everything for the rest of your life.

Nok Nok Labs has been propelling a movement to try other technologies in order to verify that you are who say you are when you try to use a service. Microphones, cameras, or fingerprint scanners could represent worthy alternatives, the startup has said.

That stance is getting new validation today, with computer manufacturer Lenovo signing on as an investor in a new $16.5 million funding round.

With the fresh cash, Nok Nok will be better equipped to deploy its recently announced authentication services for any application on Windows desktop computers and Android and iOS mobile devices.

The impact could be interesting to both consumers who don’t want to get locked of their accounts as well as businesses interested in preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Nok Nok, which started in 2011 and is based in Palo Alto, Calif., is a founding member of FIDO Alliance, a non-profit organization formed in 2012 to fix the problems latent in reliance on simple usernames and passwords. Nok Nok’s press release talks about making “FIDO-ready devices” that meet interoperability standards. (One product cleared as FIDO-ready is an 8 GB microSD card for Android and Windows devices.)

Previous Nok Nok investors DCM and Onset Ventures participated in the new round. Nok Nok Labs has now raised $31.5 in total funding, including $4 million in debt financing the startup disclosed last June.

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