- Title: Lebanese mobile app replaces passwords with a fingerprint
- Date: 24th April 2017
- Summary: MYKI INTERFACE FOR COMPANIES SHOWN ON SCREEN
- Embargoed: 8th May 2017 13:50
- Keywords: Lebanon technology startup cyber security mobile application
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Information Technologies / Computer Sciences,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA0086DRDOID
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Lebanese startup Myki is aiming to enhance cyber security in the region by developing a password manager which allows users to replace their passwords with a single fingerprint -- all through their mobile phone.
The app also means that users do not have to remember all their passwords, safe in the knowledge that the information is encrypted on their phones.
They can synch their computer and phone with a Myki browser extension and a mobile application and let the app do the rest.
Myki was initially set up in 2013 to help co-founder Priscilla Sharuk's grandmother log in online without having to remember cumbersome passwords.
"The idea for Myki started in 2013, inspired by my grandmother. My uncle used to live in Houston and she would ask me every night around 8pm to: "come help me connect me to Skype" then the conversation who go like this: "Grandma, I gave you the username and password" - "I forgot them" - "We wrote them on a paper" - "I lost it". So one day, I went to my friend who is now my partner Antoine, I told him the story and he said he had a solution," said Sharuk, who worked as a landscape architect before setting up Myki with computer engineer Antoine Jebara.
At the time, Jebara put together a hardware device that automatically allowed Sharuk's grandmother to log in into Skype as soon as it plugged into her computer, eliminating the need for her to remember her username and password.
The idea then developed into the software that is now Myki.
According to Sharuk, the startup raised an investment of 1.2 million USD from companies including Beco Capital Dubai, N&Y Venture Partners and Leap Ventures in Beirut, allowing her and Jebara to work full time on Myki.
They also took part and won several awards at TechCrunch in San Francisco, one of the biggest global startup competitions.
Jebara said they have had 50,000 people sign up to date - with users varying from teenagers to older clients.
"We have users from all backgrounds, we have users between 13, 14, 15 years old who just started their online cycle and we have people in their sixties and seventies, those count for around 30% of Myki users, because the problem of a password is that you can't remember it and the problem increases with time," he said.
The application does not store any information on internet clouds, explained Jebara, increasing its cyber safety and setting it apart from other identity and password managers.
They can't be the target of any hacker, Jebara explained, as they don't store any sensitive information.
The startup are now expanding to target corporate clients, allowing businesses to securely manage how their employees can access their online accounts.
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