Vodafone Ventures, the corporate venturing division of telecommunications corporation the Vodafone Group, led an $11.3m investment in US-based identity analytics firm the Finsphere Corporation on Monday, taking its overall funding to $30.2m. Also participating in the round were several of Finsphere’s existing investors: venture capital firms Frazier Technology Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Shasta Ventures. Mohr Davidow, Shasta and Frazier previously participated in a July 2009 series B round which raised $9m. Finsphere’s series A round was financed by Bezos Expeditions, the investment vehicle for Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, which contributed $9.9m the year before. Finsphere’s service essentially offers businesses enhancements in security and privacy for authentication in credit and debit card transactions, while enabling consumers protection against identity theft. The capital raised will be put towards expanding Finsphere’s Identity Security Services analytics platform, and expanding its strategic partnerships with wireless internet carriers and other ‘key industry players’. An example of this sort of partnership would be the partnership Finsphere launched with customer engagement company the Affinion Group in November. The deal will see Affinion distributing Finsphere’s Mobile Transaction Monitoring service to businesses as part of its consumer protection and anti-identity theft services suite. Tobin Ireland, the group director of commercial development at Vodafone, will join Finsphere’s board of directors in conjunction with the investment.
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Vodafone identifies Finsphere’s promise
Jan 24, 2012 • Robert Lavine
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