International legal practice Osborne Clarke has advised PixelPin, a UK start-up that uses image-based authentication to replace passwords with pictures, on a £1.5M Pre-Series A funding round.

PixelPin will use the new funds to target new customers in the finance and retail sectors and support continued product development. In addition, the funding is being used to establish new offices in Tokyo to act as a base for the company’s expansion into Japan and the wider Asian market. The company already has offices in London and Cheltenham.

The round was led by SBI Investment, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, which is the biggest internet financial group in Japan known formerly as SoftBank Investment. SBI Investment invested £1M from the SBI AI & Blockchain Fund. An additional investment of £500k from existing Angel investors completed the round, bringing it to £1.5M in total.

PixelPin’s cloud-based platform, hosted on Microsoft Azure, replaces passwords and PINs for a highly secure, personal and user-friendly means of logging into their online accounts for banking, shopping and more. Instead of remembering a password or PIN users can select a picture and four specific points on that picture that must be selected in sequence to login to their online accounts. PixelPin’s platform also boasts a stellar success rate: it takes on average just 10 seconds for a user to login and one minute to register and has a login success rate (92 percent) three times higher than for passwords (30 percent).

“Receiving investment from SBI was PixelPin’s first institutional investment, and our first investment from Japan. Osborne Clarke’s support was vital in ensuring that the round proceeded smoothly and that all parties were pleased with the end result,” commented PixelPin co-founder and CEO, Geoff Anderson.

PixelPin were advised by Corporate Senior Associate Robert Pook and Employment Senior Associate Julia Deacon.

Osborne Clarke’s Corporate team is considered a go-to practice for many companies in the Tech, Media and Comms sector, working with global businesses to fast-growth start-ups and market challengers. The team advises at every stage of company development across all corporate issues, from equity and debt fundraisings to M&A, IPOs and JVs.

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