San Francisco-based startup Magic has become the latest post-password authentication specialist to rake in some serious VC funding. The company has raised $27 million in a Series A funding round.
As VentureBeat reports, that funding complements an initial $4 million in seed funding, which the company raised before rebranding from its previous moniker, “Fortmatic”. The latest funding round was led by Northzone, and featured a few high-profile individual investors including Reddit co-founder (and spouse of tennis champion Serena Williams) Alexis Ohanian, and YouTube personality Casey Neistat.
The company was co-founded by Sean Li, who now serves as CEO; former Yelp software developer Arthur Jen; and Jaemin Jin, who had been a developer for Amazon, Apple, and Uber. Its platform offers a range of passwordless authentication options, and is being pitched primarily on the basis of the ease with which it can be implemented by client organizations on an economical, scaling basis.
Magic offers an SDK that lets clients implement its authentication solution “with a few lines of code”, as the company explains on its website; and costs start at $0.0085 per login, and cap at $0.034 per user on a monthly basis.
As for the authentication options themselves, Magic emphasizes the use of key-based cryptography, and a decentralized approach. So-called “magic links” can be used to let end users login through a link sent via email, and the platform also supports the WebAuthn standard, enabling the use of FIDO2 security keys and biometric authentication. OAuth is supported for login via social media, and SMS codes can also be employed for authentication.
The Series A raise reflects a broader appetite among venture capital investors for post-password security solutions. For its part, Magic said in a blog post that the funding will help the company to “double down on empowering developers and future-proofing our technology”, adding later that Magic is looking to hire additional staff “across the board”, with open roles in a number of areas including engineering and marketing.