Israeli startup D-ID, a developer of video and image anonymization solutions, announced on May 27 that it raised $13.5 million in a Series A funding round last month.
The company's technology protects against unauthorized automated facial recognition by removing key biometric data while maintaining other key attributes to mask or blur faces so they cannot be used for identification.
According to D-ID, which stands for de-identification, its "photo protection and video anonymization solutions ensure the privacy of individuals caught on film or camera, and allows organizations to store the media without risking heavy fines."
The company was founded in 2017 by Gil Perry, Sella Blondheim and Eliran Kuta, who all served in the IDF's Israel’s elite 8200 intelligence unit.
Blondheim, D-ID's COO, said "Raising this level of investor interest during a period of economic uncertainty speaks to the need our solutions fill. The convergence of increased surveillance and individual privacy protection places enterprises in a position where they must either anonymize their stored footage or risk violating privacy laws and face costly penalties."
According to the company, its advanced solution detects faces on film and automatically applies blurring to remove personally identifiable information, even in poor lighting, regardless of facial pose, and can accurately detect masked faces.
With the increasing scraping of images by AI-based facial recognition companies as well as the growing use of surveillance technologies, D-ID's solution is seen as filling a gap in the marketplace.
The funding was led by AXA Venture Partners, with the participation of Pitango Venture Capital, Y-Combinator, AI Alliance, Hyundai Motor Company, OMRON Ventures, Maverick Ventures, Mindset Ventures and Redds Capital.
Manish Agarwal, general partner at AXA Venture Partners, said “We have been impressed by the quality of the team at D-ID and they have created a product to safeguard that biometric data, which will go a long way in protecting these companies across the globe."