From the Enterprise Innovation Institute, posted 8/8/2017:

Economic Development Administration University Center Client Success Story

Paul Judge (left) a Georgia Tech graduate and chairman of Pindrop, a cybersecurity startup, discusses Atlanta’s advantages over other technology hubs in the United States with Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson (center), and Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (right).

Information Security Startup Helps Companies Fight Fraud

Each type of mobile device and each telephone network have their own unique audio characteristics.  Sophisticated fraudsters, however, can spoof your Caller ID to make it seem that a request for a new credit card, change of address, or a wire transfer is coming from Atlanta.

But Atlanta-based Pindrop, whose technology secures phone and voice communications is a critical line of defense in anti-fraud efforts. The company, which was founded on research developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology, reduces fraud losses and the expense of customer authentication for some of the world’s largest call centers.

Among its customers are the world’s largest financial institutions, insurers, and retailers, all using the company’s technology to detect more than 80 percent of fraud attempts.

In 2010, Vijay Balasubramaniyan, then a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, along with Mustaque Ahamad, then a director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center, and School of Computer Science assistant professor Patrick Traynor raised the visibility of telephony security issues.

The trio presented their findings and solutions at a top security conference: the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Computer and Communication Security.

Keith McGreggor, director of the Georgia Tech VentureLab program, read the invention disclosures on the research, and reached out to Balasubramaniyan.

A program of Georgia Tech’s chief economic development arm, the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), VentureLab evaluates technology developed at Georgia Tech and helps faculty and research staff launch startups based on their research.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports Georgia Tech’s Innovation-based Ecosystem initiative at EI2. The EDA University Center grant allowed Georgia Tech to support Pindrop through VentureLab, which provided strategic staff support, guidance on commercialization, technical assistance with product development, and execution. This also allowed for staff support to help Pindrop secure seed funding from the Georgia Research Alliance. Additionally, VentureLab helped Pindrop secure federal funding from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program, which further supported Pindrop’s growth and development.

To date, Pindrop has received more than $122 million in funding and private investments, including a $75 million in a Series C round announced in 2016 that was led by Google Capital. The company, which for the first time last year sold to healthcare and government customers, counts eight of the top 10 U.S. banks as its customers, in addition to retailers and insurers, and other clients. In addition to customers in the United States, Pindrop has clients in Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The company has just under 300 employees.