By: Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO, CTO & Co-Founder
Pindrop is in a period of hyper-growth. In 2016, Pindrop doubled its customer base and saw revenues increase more than 100% year-over-year. For years, enterprise companies have been investing heavily in both physical and cyber security, leaving one place where customer information is not as protected – call centers. With call center fraud up 100% in the last year alone, major banks and enterprises have turned to Pindrop. Currently, our Phoneprinting™ technology is monitoring hundreds-of-millions of calls and is proven to catch 80% of fraudulent calls.
Pindrop’s growth, among enterprise call centers, is driven by its success in mitigating its customers’ exposure to rapidly-expanding fraud, totaling $10 billion in fraud losses in the US alone last year. The old methods of keeping phone lines safe no longer works. For example, when you call a bank they will most likely ask you basic question to authenticate you like your first pet’s name, mother’s maiden name and your social security number. Fraud rings have all this information due to ongoing identity hacks and even low level criminals can easily find that information on Facebook or through a simple Google search.
Every month, 100 billion phone calls are made and now voice is becoming the dominant platform to control our devices, TVs, car dashboards and more. To help scale Pindrop’s mission, to provide security and authentication on every voice communication and every voice device, we have added three incredible entrepreneurs to our board that have created billions of dollars in value, creating and defining new technology markets: Martin Casado and John Chambers as board members and Marc Andreessen as a board observer. While growth in the enterprise is a major focus for Pindrop and our board, there is a large and unique opportunity to apply Pindrop’s technology to another sector as well – the Internet of Things. With deep experience in both back-end and consumer-facing platforms, Marc, Martin, and John will be critical advisors to Pindrop’s utilization and growth in IoT.
Nearly every major technology company is investing heavily in natural language processing and the development of voice services to power Smart Home environments, to give consumers a mobile personal assistant, and enable voice experiences in cars, on TVs, and other devices. But a major missing piece in voice services today is identity, the ability for voice services to not just understand you, but know who you are. This enables a world of new and streamlined personal services – unlock a rental car or hotel door with your voice as the key, launch your music or video streaming subscriptions to any device with the unique biometrics of your voice. The possibilities are endless, and it’s a very exciting time.
For IoT, Pindrop technology doesn’t see identity verification as the end point, there are also opportunities with context. In order for AI/voice services to be truly helpful, they will need to understand the context in which requests are made. A request of “call the police” to a voice service is an example. This could be a non-urgent call about a minor car accident outside, an urgent call about someone breaking into a car across the street, or an extreme emergency like an intruder in the house. Voice services today do not measure stress, inflection and other biometrics that provide real context to requests. Once identity and context are baked into voice services at the security layer, a new wave of IoT services will follow.
History has shown that security lags every time a new platform shift occurs – the shift to the Internet, the shift of IT to the cloud, the shift to mobile. Two-factor authentication was a great step forward for security on the Internet, but with voice there can be 100+ factor authentication in just seconds. With IoT, we have an opportunity to do it right, at a very early phase.