Passage, an innovator in the rapidly growing passwordless identity space, today emerged from stealth announcing the availability of its public beta along with $4 million of new funding led by LiveOak Venture Partners with participation from Next Coast Ventures, Tau Ventures, Secure Octane, and various angel investors. Passage takes a developer-first and biometric-first approach to passwordless authentication, enabling users to log in to web applications with Face ID, Touch ID, Windows Hello, and other biometrics built into their devices.

Compared with other forms of user authentication, biometrics offer improved security and a smoother login experience for users. Passwords and magic links introduce friction at critical conversion points in the user journey, but biometrics allow businesses to reduce cart abandonment, user churn, and password-related support costs by introducing quick login with no context switching. Biometrics also protect users by eliminating phishing and account takeover attacks, while protecting businesses from the risks associated with storing and managing passwords.

“Passage delivers an exceptional developer experience for a technology that’s easier to use, more secure, and ultimately the future of authentication. There’s often a tradeoff between security and user experience, but Passage offers a unique combination of both with low implementation complexity,” said Cole Hecht, Passage’s Co-founder and CEO. “This financing will allow us to introduce Passage to more developers, and deliver more ‘ah-ha’ moments when people sign up for websites with Face ID, Touch ID, or Windows Hello for the first time.”

Consumers are increasingly comfortable using built-in biometrics to log in to mobile applications, particularly for banking and other highly sensitive transactions. In parallel, biometrics are just becoming accessible to developers in the browser, which is expected to create a flurry of opportunity and innovation. Passage brings the consumer experience of biometric authentication to web applications as well. With a few lines of code, developers can enable their users to register and log in to websites with only their face or fingerprint.

“Passage is poised to change the fundamental way we interact with the Web,” said Creighton Hicks, LiveOak Venture Partners. “Imagine a world where you seamlessly signup, login, and checkout online – no matter which device you’re on, without having to remember or lookup your password. A world where password breaches simply don’t matter as they can’t be used on other sites and the biometric data itself never leaves your device. Passage, backed by the right team and technology, empowers developers to easily give this experience to their users, and make our world a little simpler and more secure.”

Passage is built on technology that eliminates passwords and provides two strong authentication factors – something you are and something you have – with a single quick gesture. Further, Passage does not store any face, fingerprint, or other biometric data about users, making it the best solution for security and privacy-focused companies and users. Anna Pobletts, Co-founder and CTO of Passage said, “After decades of passwords and multifactor requirements, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are excited to lead the way for developers wanting to implement better authentication for their users.”

“Passage makes biometric passwordless authentication accessible to all developers and makes the open source standard WebAuthn easy to integrate in any environment,”  said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, Linux Foundation. “Improving security practices should be top of mind for everyone and I highly encourage all developers to support passwordless authentication in their applications.”