Descope Launches Authentication Tech With $53M Seed Round

The company’s cybersecurity solution aims to make implementing passwordless sign-in easier for developers.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Feb. 15, 2023
Descope Launches Authentication Tech With $53M Seed Round
Members of the Descope team pose together on an urban rooftop for a group photo.
Photo: Descope

The average person these days has a plethora of online accounts, from banking apps to shopping sites and everything in between. With almost 100 passwords to keep up with, it’s no wonder people reuse credentials a majority of the time. This is convenient for users and bad actors since a simple correct guess can unravel a person’s security barrier.

The more passwords we create, the less efficient managing them becomes. Descope wants to help businesses get rid of user passwords altogether, in favor of less hackable options. It developed no-code and low-code solutions for building passwordless authentication methods onto a company’s platform.

Descope announced on Wednesday the general availability of its offering alongside a $53 million seed raise from lead investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and GGV Capital.

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Descope’s solution serves to enable passwordless authentication in any application, be it mobile apps, desktop apps or web-based platforms. Each of these apps has unique requirements for user login and sign-up processes, according to Rishi Bhargava, Descope’s co-founder and CEO, and Descope wants to make each of these processes seamless and secure for end users. 

“Security has always been a challenge across the board, but within this last year, 80 percent of the web attacks were due to stolen passwords or credentials of some sort,” Bhargava told Built In. “Password managers were breached. ... If applications decide to go passwordless, my mission here is how can we make sure that applications are built passwordless and … [that] they will be more secure and more user friendly.”

Developers can build out infrastructure for biometrics, phone number recognition, device verification and other forms of authentication with Descope’s drag-and-drop interface. Should they want to customize their system further as their organization and platform scale, they can continue to build upon the same infrastructure they’ve already created using Descope. For more detailed implementations, Descope offers a low-code development tool as well.

Descope has recorded customers implementing its product rather expeditiously. One organization built biometric authentication into its website within 20 minutes, according to Bhargava. As user demand for passwordless tech rises, Descope hopes to lead the charge for the simple implementation of these tools.

Outfitted with its fresh funding, Descope plans to expand its platform’s infrastructure and onboard more talent. Based in Los Altos, the company will expand its currently 30-person team across customer success, marketing and developer relations. It plans to build out its go-to-market engine with the capital as well.

“My goal is [to figure out] how can we enable more and more applications to be passwordless, and how do we make it easy?” Bhargava said. “So I what I’m most excited about … is [making] the user experience of onboarding easy without the application developer spending hours or months of time building that authentication.”

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