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Online identity expert opens New York office with new venture capital backing

Venture capital-backed online identity security expert Garlik has taken a significant step into the US market by opening a New York office, securing an additional USD5m in funding and sign

Venture capital-backed online identity security expert Garlik has taken a significant step into the US market by opening a New York office, securing an additional USD5m in funding and signing a distribution deal with Minneapolis-based CPP North America, a marketer of life assistance products with more than 11.3 million customers in North America, Europe and Asia.

Garlik, created by the founders of internet bank Egg, has secured the additional funding to bolster its US launch with Noble Venture Finance joining Garlik’s existing investors, 3i and Doughty Hanson. The Noble Group is an independent UK investment bank providing a range of investment management, corporate finance and broking services.

Garlik says its DataPatrol service, already launched in the UK, is the s first designed specifically to counter the growing wave of ID theft in which fraudsters exploit personal information available online to manufacture identities. The partnership with CPP North America is the company’s first large-scale distribution deal in North America.

‘The additional investment from 3i, Doughty Hanson and Noble Venture Finance, and the partnership with CPP North America, vividly demonstrate Garlik’s evolution, ready to expand beyond Europe across the globe,’ says chief executive Tom Ilube. ‘With Garlik’s New York office open for business, we are well positioned to bring fresh ideas to the fight against ID theft in the US.’

Garlik was founded by Mike Harris, founding chief executive of Egg, former Egg chief information officer Ilube and former British Computer Society president Professor Nigel Shadbolt. It claims to be the first company to develop a commercial application of semantic technology, enabling consumers to find what personal information is in the public domain about them and manage how their identities appear online.

The firm’s panel of advisers includes Professor Wendy Hall from the University of Southampton, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, and Daniel Cooper, a privacy lawyer with Covington & Burling.

Garlik says identity fraud continues to mount in the US, last year affecting 8.1 million Americans and costing the country’s economy USD45bn. DataPatrol is designed to protect an individual’s online presence across billions of web pages and to scour the web for critical personal information such as credit cards and social security numbers that may have been compromised.

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