Decentralized identity startup Spruce raises $34M led by a16z

Decentralized identity startup Spruce raises $34M led by a16z

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Spruce Systems Inc., a single-sign-on decentralized identity startup for Web3, announced Wednesday that it has raised $34 million in early-stage funding led by Andreessen Horowitz to allow people to break away from centralized big tech platforms such as Meta and Google.

The Series A funding round was also joined by Okta Ventures, SCB 10X, Robot Ventures and OrangeDAO, as well as existing investors Ethereal Ventures, Electric Capital, Y Combinator, Protocol Labs and others. This funding follows a $7.5 million seed round led by Ethereal Ventures and Electric Capital in November.

Identity and authentication are important elements of sign-on for every service on the internet. Every time people sign up for a new service on the web, such as social media, banking, email and more, they create another set of usernames and passwords.

With Spruce’s platform, users can control a single account and credentials that can be used to sign on to numerous different services. Unlike an account with Meta or Google, the credentials and all the data within that account are protected by the Ethereum blockchain and cryptographic keys, meaning that only the user has access to the information and no third party can access it without the user’s permission.

The company is building open-source tools to create interoperability standards that allow Web2 applications to take advantage of the fundamentals of Web3, what is known as the decentralized web built on blockchain technology. Those fundamentals include secure self-owned data storage and user-controlled authentication.

Most of Spruce’s customers are Web3 companies, but its products can be integrated into any system. For example, SpruceID provides decentralized user identity for websites for signing, sharing and verifying users and information. It can also be used to help eliminate fraud by allowing creators to prove ownership of social media accounts, websites and blockchain addresses.

Using SpruceID, users can also tie reputation to a decentralized credential that works across blockchains. The platform works with Ethereum, Polygon, Tezos, Solana, Ceramic and Celo.

With Kepler, users can get decentralized storage for personal data and securely share digital credentials, private files and other sensitive media. Since it’s all secured using blockchain technology and cryptographic keys access can be restricted to only those who should be permitted.

One powerful use case would be for decentralized autonomous organizations, which are organizations represented by rules encoded in blockchain programmable smart contracts, where it can be used to provide permissioned storage for sensitive content, documents and other data for members. All of this could be controlled using the DAO’s blockchain code through Kepler.

The company said it will use the new funding to grow its engineering team and continue to focus on “research in cutting-edge privacy and usability technology” features.

Image: Spruce

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