24 Apr ToothPic – the first ITAtech Investment
Vertis Venture 3 Tech Transfer (VV3TT) fund by VERTIS SGR closed a seed round on ToothPic S.r.l., a spin-off company of Politecnico di Torino, Italy, dedicated to improving security and usability in the authentication processes. This is the first ITAtech investment and it will accelerate the development of ToothPic groundbreaking Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) mobile platform, leveraging the intellectual property generated by Politecnico di Torino.
ToothPic team has patented a technology for MFA that overcomes the existing duality between security and usability of current authentication systems. ToothPic recognizes the user’s smartphone from an invisible fingerprint that characterizes its camera sensor. The technology is extremely secure, because the secret data that identify the user are never stored on the smartphone. At the same time, it is also very user-friendly, because the entire procedure is completely automatic and runs on the smartphone, thus not requiring an additional token dedicated to authentication.
Giulio Coluccia, CEO of ToothPic, said, “We are thrilled to have secured a first round of financing from Vertis SGR. With their support we will be able to move to the next phase of development of our mobile authentication platform, designed to cope with a fast-growing concern about security and trust in mobile transactions, addressing a market opportunity that grows more than 24% per year and already exceeds $1 billion annually.”
“Identity thefts, user authentication breaches and online frauds are becoming a major threat for a multitude of online services and activities. Outdated security methods and poor user experience of software and devices may increase vulnerability of system and hinder privacy and security of connected users,” said Roberto Della Marina, Partner of the VV3TT fund. “Toothpic is poised to provide the first secure multi factor authentication platform ready to be deployed over the large majority of mobile phones and terminals already in use. We are excited to support Toothpic as they work to build a great company in an exciting market.”
“With this initiative, the Politecnico di Torino confirms itself as a protagonist of the Italian innovation system” says Giuliana Mattiazzo, Vice Rector of Technology Transfer. “The first ITAtech investment represents not only a literally ‘historical’ result for the country, but also demonstrates the ability of the Politecnico di Torino in creating an effective supply chain of technology transfer involving the various subjects. A step forward toward the creation of a whole ecosystem with the University at the heart. Starting with the protection of a cutting-edge technology born from an ERC project, Toothpic was then founded: a spin-off company that can face investors and the market.”
ItaTech is a dedicated Technology Transfer (TT) investment Platform in Italy. ItaTech’s objective is to nurture Italy’s ecosystem for innovation and international competitiveness by facilitating access to equity and innovation investments over the whole business life-cycle, from the start-up and seed stages to the growth/expansion stage as well as the valorization and commercialization of Intellectual Property (IP). Through ItaTech, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) will jointly provide up to EUR 200 m to finance selected investment vehicles dedicated to the TT in Italy.
ToothPic S.r.L. is a spin-off of Politecnico di Torino, based in Torino, Italy, and is registered as an innovative startup at the Italian Chamber of Commerce. ToothPic was founded in 2016 by a team of 4 professors and post-doc researchers with several years of established experience in the fields of camera identification, security and forensics. The mission of the company is to provide users and companies simple and secure authentication systems. ToothPic is incubated by I3P, the university incubator for innovative companies, one of the most important company incubators across Europe. More info: www.toothpic.eu
About Politecnico di Torino
For more than 150 years, the Politecnico di Torino has been one of the most prestigious public institutions concerning education, research, technological transfer and services in all sectors of architecture and engineering. The Politecnico di Torino is a Research University of international level which attracts students from more than 100 countries and which activates about 800 collaborations per year with industries, public institutions and local organizations. In 11 multidisciplinary Departments, 2,500 people carry out research and teaching activities. Politecnico di Torino focuses its strategies on an even greater commitment in social and economic fields, in order to turn its campuses into central hubs of an international network of academic, industrial and institutional partners, with the aim of sharing results for an even more collaborative and cross curricular research which goes beyond the concept of technology transfer. More info: www.polito.it
About Vertis Venture 3 Tech Transfer
VV3TT is an early-stage closed-end fund managed by VERTIS SGR with the exclusive support of Venture Factory. VV3TT is the first venture capital fund in Italy entirely dedicated to tech transfer from Universities and Public Research bodies launched under the ITATECH platform, the equity investment initiative jointly promoted by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) to support innovation and tech transfer processes. EIF investment in VV3TT is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.
About Vertis SGR
Vertis is an asset management company specialized in “Innovative Made in Italy” industries. Vertis is the only private equity and venture capital player located in Southern Italy, with headquartered in Naples, and an operative office in Milan. Its senior team has more than 120 years of cross-sectorial experience in finance, industry, research and consulting. For more information, visit www.vertis.it
About Venture Factory
Venture Factory is the exclusive advisory company of Vertis Venture 3 Technology Transfer fund. It is led by a team of senior professionals with significant background in venture capital, multinational industries, technology transfer and research. Venture Factory works together with universities, research institutions, corporations and venture capital funds in order to turn great discoveries into successful products, services and companies. For more information, visit: www.venturefactory.tech.