Trying to remember innumerable passwords for your rapidly proliferating internet identities is a common pain point these days. Dashlane bills itself as a personal assistant for your online identities, securely storing passwords and making it simple to join new services or purchase items online by saving and auto-filling data like name, age, billing address, credit cards, etc. Today the startup, which just relocated from France to New York, launched a suite of new features as it aims to take on giants like Google and PayPal, which offer similar express checkout services.
"Our lives are flooded with devices and accounts," said Emmanuel Schalit, Dashlane's CEO. "As people increasingly spend their time on smartphones and tablets, this problem will only grow worse. The app is the native language of those devices, but you are not going to have a different app for each of the hundreds of e-commerce sites you want to shop from each year."
The new version has a points system that rewards users for logging into services and purchasing items.The points can be used for specific goods, like a version of Dashlane's forthcoming iPhone app, or redeemed for coupons to save money while shopping. It's a bit odd at first to see a company focused on user data and privacy trying to gamify its offering, but the startup seems to be laying the groundwork for a transition from free to paid services (and hoping to seed the ground for commercial partnerships with major online retailers).
So far the company has raised $5 million from Rho Capital Partners and FirstMark Capital. It's competing with startups like LastPass, as well as big dogs like Google. "We know that this is a massive market with some very large, powerful competitors," said Schalit. "But we think that, because we work on the client side, we can already scale beyond them. There is nothing a merchant has to do to make Dashlane work, which is very different from a Google Checkout."
Schalit also hopes Dashlane's principled stance on privacy will be a differentiator. "We don't have access to any of your data or information. We don't even keep your password. Everything is stored on your devices and secured with a powerful encryption," said Schalit. All user data is encrypted with AES-256 – a standard adopted by the U.S. Government. "I believe we're at the beginning of a new era, where people are going to care more and more about having control and access to the vast amounts of personal information they are storing online."