New York-based software and data analytics company Payfone announced this week it has raised $100 million to acquire strategic assets, further strengthen its machine learning capabilities, and build a cross-industry consortium to secure digital transactions and experiences. The investment was led by funds advised by Apax Digital, the growth equity team of Apax Partners.
Payfone seeks to set a new standard for digital identity verification and authentication. Its customer identity platform enables large financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and technology companies to bring speed and security to their onboarding, digital servicing, and call center processes.
The company's authentication solutions, including its Trust Score tool, are built on 10 years of proprietary phone intelligence that enables Payfone to anonymously measure a phone number's reputation and risk with real-time processing of behavioral signals. The platform detects burner phones, spoofed calls, real-time SIM swap fraud, and synthetic identities while removing friction from legitimate transactions. It also provides call verification solutions that run passively in the background of a phone call, allowing faster issue resolution.
CEO Rodger Desai said, "The mobile phone is rapidly becoming the secure passport for navigating our digital lives. With one in three U.S. consumers already authenticated by Payfone, this investment accelerates our ability to set the standard for the authentication process. As we build out a cross-industry consortium, more enterprises will be able to access Payfone's real-time fraud and risk signals to prevent account takeovers while passing more transactions."
Apax Digital Managing Partner Daniel O'Keefe said, "Identity is the key enabling technology for the next generation of digital businesses. Payfone's Trust Score is core to the real-time decisioning that enterprises need in order to drive revenue while thwarting fraud and protecting privacy."
Apax Digital Principal Zach Fuchs added, "Payfone's technology enables frictionless customer experience while curbing the mounting operating expense caused by manual review."
The Apax Digital Fund specializes in growth equity and buyout investments in high-growth enterprise software, consumer internet, and technology-enabled services companies.
Concurrent with the investment, O'Keefe and Fuchs will join Payfone's board of directors.
Joining the investment round are new investors Sandbox Insurtech Ventures and Ralph de la Vega, the former vice chairman of AT&T. Existing investors MassMutual Ventures, Synchrony, Blue Venture Fund, Wellington Management LLP, and former CEO of LexisNexis Andrew Prozes also participated.