You could probably prevent a few headaches and save countless hours of work for each time you had to trouble recalling your password or even forced to hit the dreaded ‘Forgot Password?’ link. With your multiple devices, channels and email addresses, each with their own password nomenclature and guidelines, remembering passwords is not plausible in this day and age and the average person has at least 19 passwords. Dashlane just raised a sizable chunk of capital to be your go to cloud-based password manager with the most sophisticated of security options.
Today, we sit down with CEO Emmanuel Schalit and about the recent funding round and the new strategy for expanding Dashlane.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Dashlane raised a Series C funding round of $22.5 million, led by TransUnion and including participation from previous investors Rho Ventures, FirstMark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners. The round brings Dashlane’s total funding to date to $52.5 million.
Tell us about your product or service.
Dashlane is an award-winning password manager and leader in online identity management. Dashlane makes identity and checkouts simple with its password manager and secure digital wallet app, and allows users to securely manage passwords, credit cards, IDs, and other important information via advanced encryption and local storage.
Dashlane has helped over 5 million users manage and secure their digital identity. The app is available on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. Dashlane is free to use on one device, and Dashlane Premium costs $39.99/year to sync between an unlimited number of devices.
What inspired you to start the company?
Two billion people use the Internet every day. In spite of that, 25 years after the creation of the Internet, there is still no universal system for digital identity. We constantly need to type, manage, and/or remember names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, and more – to the point that life in the digital world is more complicated and less secure than in the real world.
How is it different?
Dashlane is the first password manager to launch automatic password changing technology. The ability to receive instant notification and take immediate action is a momentous differentiator that makes Dashlane the cutting-edge password manager that is there for users, wherever and whenever they need it. Additionally, Dashlane’s solid stance on our user’s privacy is a key differentiator – we don’t have access to any of your data or information. We don’t even keep your password. Everything is stored on your devices and secured with a powerful encryption.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Our largest market is the consumer market, but we are seeing more and more companies adopt Dashlane, and we will be focused on capturing more market share in the enterprise space in the future. With this investment, we are also looking to expand our services and partnerships with banks and other large financial institutions. In Q4 we expect to launch new services with TransUnion in the fraud/ecommerce space.
What’s your business model?
Dashlane is a “freemium” product; it is free on one device, and with a $39.99 subscription, it can be used on an unlimited number of devices. A large portion of users are premium users, and most renew their subscription year after year. Additionally, Dashlane is selling enterprise licenses to companies of all sizes as we start rolling out more and more enterprise-grade features.
With the increased used of biometrics in identity management, what’s in store for the future?
Last year we added the Samsung Finger Scanner to the Dashlane Android App. Combining strong passwords with biometrics technologies is one of the safest, fastest solutions to online identity. As an additional layer of authentication, biometric authorization can provide another useful layer of security, particularly when using services that are especially sensitive like our bank accounts. However, the use of strong passwords as the main foundation will build up a stronger defense against breaches. Biometrics as a technology is a fantastic innovation with many useful applications. However, in its current guise, a password-killer it is not.
What was the funding process like?
A bit longer than it was for our B round. Investors are more cautious in general because too many crazy deals were made a year ago.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Explaining the multiple facets of our story. Digital identity is not well understood in its scope and potential – there are lots of misconceptions about where it is going, so it takes a fair amount of time to get investors to realize the magnitude of the opportunity.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Deep belief in the uniqueness of our product, the impact it has on the day-to-day lives of our users, and the clear line of sight on the potential of the strategic partnership with TransUnion. And for our existing investors Rho, FirstMark and BVP, they have always been fully aligned with our long-term vision and have consistently supported the company at each and every round.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank? Preserve cash, gear up for a long dry spell of limited capital availability, and create a line of sight to cash break even – or better get there on your own.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
On 3 fronts
- More adoption by consumers in our existing markets and in new geographies.
- More adoption in larger enterprise settings.
- Through partnerships with large financial institutions.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?