Blockchain Start-up Raises $5 Million to Develop Passenger Data Platform

London start-up, Zamna, which uses blockchain to automate airport security checks, has raised $5 million in seed funding in a round led by VC firms LocalGlobe and Oxford Capital, alongside Seedcamp, the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF), Telefonica and a number of angel investors.

Zamna also announced existing investor, British Airways owner International Airlines Group, as its first commercial client for the developed system.

The platform is used to verify and connect passenger data sets which are currently siloed between airlines, governments and security agencies. Zamna claims its method can reduce the need for manual or other checks by up to 90%. It could also create a ‘seamless’ airport security process. Zamna’s technology works by attaching an anonymous token to the already verified data. A secure network of validated tokens can then be accessed without the need to see the data itself.

The start-up’s proprietary Advance Passenger Information validation platform for biographic and biometric data is already being deployed by some airlines and immigration authorities including Emirates Airlines and the United Arab Emirate’s immigration authority to deliver check-in and transit checks.

The platform is designed to be plug-and-play with a simple implementation, allowing airlines and governments to generate their own cryptographic signals and data proofs. Zamna says the implementation is delivered within days and weeks, rather than months.

Zamna is a strategic partner to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and an active member of IATA’s “One ID” working group. In November 2018, Zamna was announced as the winner of the inaugural IATA Global Airport and Passenger Symposium Innovation Awards for its blockchain-powered platform.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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