Interview with Alessio Mauro, Founder & CEO of neoEYED

Date: 16 May 2019

Originally from Italy, Alessio Mauro is a seasoned world citizen and entrepreneur. Apart from jetting between his company’s three locations in Delaware (USA), Bangalore (India) and most recently, Singapore (at ICE71!), he also shares about neoEYED’s vision at tech conferences worldwide. We caught up with Alessio on neoEYED’s journey so far, and his plans for the road ahead.

The inception of neoEYED

Alessio has more than 15 years of experience in web/mobile development. Along the way, he acquired a great deal of knowledge about biometrics authentication. This led him to realise that current authentication technologies are flawed – hence the idea behind neoEYED was birthed.

neoEYED was started with one aim – to help users get rid of passwords. At one stage, Alessio counted that he had over 1000 passwords stored on his password manager. He wondered – with all the biometric technologies out there, why are people still using passwords? He points out that security can easily be compromised as long as passwords continue to be utilised, saying, “You can add face, fingerprint and voice biometrics all together, but as long as the password is there, that is the weak spot the hackers will point to.”

Founded in early 2016, neoEYED quickly took off. “Thanks to my ability to build applications, I was also able to work on the tech side, helping build the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) of the platform.” neoEYED has already received numerous accolades, including Second Place at the 2018 Shift Money Challenge in Croatia and First Prize at the 2018 Vizag Fintech Festival in India.

Building an invisible security system

neoEYED helps banks and enterprises to reduce frauds using the next generation of Artificial Intelligence, powered by behavioural biometrics. Their proprietary AI monitors 100+ behavioural factors to detect anomalies or bot attacks, and prevent account takeover or fraudulent account use in real time.

With a growth in online transactions and online fraudulent activities, the behavioural biometrics market size is expected to soar from USD 871.2 million in 2018 to USD 2,552.7 million by 2023, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets™ (Source). neoEYED’s value proposition is an attractive one for companies looking to prevent fraud and protect their customers.

Password are still the main authentication system, but also the most fragile. Two-factor authentication (2FA) systems like SMS one-time passwords (OTPs) or issued physical tokens are a barrier at entrance for users, causing businesses to lose customers during the login, registration or payment process. Biometrics should be the answer, but unfortunately, they cannot replace passwords today as they are not 100% accessible”, explains Alessio. neoEYED is taking the best of 2FA and biometrics, by creating a new layer of security that is completely invisible to the users and improves user experience by removing the barriers to usage, but that still can be as safe a biometric system. neoEYED offers an advanced run time fraud prevention engine that can detect real time anomalies and alert the right users about an ongoing real time fraud.

A journey of growth

The road to establishing a successful cybersecurity startup hasn’t been an easy one. When asked about neoEYED’s biggest challenge so far, Alessio remarked, “Getting the first customers is the most difficult thing in the cybersecurity sector. We persisted in sales for more than one year before acquiring our first customer. The key is to find the right focus and persist as much as you can.”

neoEYED joined the ICE71 Scale programme in early 2019, to further their aim of business expansion in the region. “ICE71 has helped us to connect with partners and investors to expand our business in Singapore and Southeast Asia,” says Alessio. Next on their agenda for 2019, neoEYED is raising their first seed round, and on the lookout for early-stage venture capitalists who may be keen to participate and be a part of their journey.

Alessio leaves some parting words of advice for aspiring cybersecurity entrepreneurs: “Be ready to change, don’t waste time focusing on too many things. Get one thing done at time.”

Find out more about the ICE71 Scale programme and how it is helping later-stage cybersecurity companies grow.

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