Today, the most commonly used credential to enter secured spaces is an access card that can be lost, replicated, or stolen. Alternative technologies, such as mobile and legacy biometric systems have not gained mainstream momentum due to implementation and user challenges.
Bulgaria and US-based company for autonomous access control Alcatraz AI has raised $25 million in funding to further develop 3D facial authentication and AI to create safe spaces. The Series A round was led by Almaz Capital and included The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Endeavor Catalyst, Silverline Capital, and Golden Seeds, along with participation from existing investors JCI Ventures, Ray Stata, LDV Partners, and Bulgarian angel investors.
Alcatraz AI will focus on global expansion and product innovation to meet a variety of use cases as oganisations continue to modernise their access control systems. The startup has also dedicated €1 million round for retail investors on SeedBlink, the investment platform for European startups, with tickets starting from €2,500.
Founded by Vince Gaydarzhiev in 2016, Alcatraz AI aims to transform the experience of entering spaces in the most highly secure manner, while enabling a completely passive and frictionless use case at doors for occupants and the security teams that manage them. Its flagship product, the Rock, is deployed at some of the most successful enterprises in the world. Since 2020, the company has seen massive growth in the U.S. and globally, with over ten countries deploying Alcatraz AI solutions, securing over 1 million employees.
Tina D’Agostin, CEO of Alcatraz AI said: “Safety and security is the first principle, and we are committed to leading a new era of frictionless access control by leveraging the unique power of the human face to make accessing spaces as secure, quick and easy as unlocking your phone.”
Daniil Stolyarov, partner at Almaz Capital added: “Almaz is always on the lookout for technology applications that disrupt and transform established industries. Alcatraz applies artificial intelligence to ensure that security, privacy, and convenience is possible for autonomous access control.”
Angel Hadjiev, country manager in Bulgaria at SeedBlink added: “The world’s most innovative technology companies have implemented Alcatraz AI’s solution in their buildings, which speaks volumes. The round launched on SeedBlink is perhaps the last opportunity for private investors to participate in the Series A of this outstanding startup with Bulgarian origins, alongside renowned VCs and institutional investors and on the same terms.”