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Kleiner Perkins Backs DUST Identity

November 15, 2018

DUST Identity has secured $2.3 million in seed funding led by Kleiner Perkins, with participation from New Science Ventures, Angular Ventures, and Castle Island Ventures. The investment will be used to accelerate the research and development of its advanced, proprietary technology and product line-up, accelerate business development opportunities, and to double headcount over the next twelve months.

DUST Identity offers the first-ever unclonable, and uncompromisable security tracking solution for hardware authentication. The startup, born at the MIT, developed its core technology under a DARPA funded program into a commercial product and enterprise solution for modern supply-chain security and manufacturing. DUST Identity was founded by Ophir Gaathon, PhD, Jonathan Hodges, PhD, and Dirk Englund, PhD, and its technology was developed to address a key pain point for businesses experiencing new vulnerabilities and security disruptions as their global supply chains became more complex and dynamic.

“DUST Identity is introducing a scientifically-backed solution for supply chain management fit for mission-critical enterprises – from military defense to automation to healthcare – who prioritize security first, but also want tools that are cost-efficient and easy to deploy,” said Ilya Fushman, General Partner at Kleiner Perkins. “DUST Identity’s technology is truly cutting-edge and we're excited to partner with this unique team of scientists, engineers and technologists.”

The product, Diamond Unclonable Security Tag (DUST), is an inexpensive, invisible and easy-to-apply coating of tiny diamonds that allow a manufacturer or enterprise to combine high-security authentication with full lifecycle tracking that traces down to the component level. An optical scanner and cloud-based infrastructure provides an interface to the object identity and provenance.

“What we’ve built is a game changer for supply-chain security,” said Ophir Gaathon, CEO and Co-founder, DUST Identity. “Lack of hardware integrity can have a devastating impact on many levels, and our goal is to elevate the entire business operations ecosystem with more accountability and transparency. We help Enterprises and Governments to prevent hardware tampering and data breaches, improve suppliers trust, and modernize supply chain data management. Compared to other technologies such as RFID, holograms or barcodes, our proprietary solution is significantly more secure, durable, agile, customizable and cost effective.”

DUST Identity is working with some of the U.S. government's biggest agencies as well as leading technology leaders in supply chain and business operations including SAP to ensure the integrity of critical assets. The company’s holistic approach to verifiable provenance is an essential piece of the integrity solution.

Noted industry expert, Edna Conway, Chief Security Officer of Cisco's Value Chain shared that "Our digital economy is enabled by technology leveraging a global value chain. Ensuring the integrity of that value chain is key to our future."

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