Stage: Napkin (idea)
Number of employees: 6-15
Short URL: vator.co/clef
Clef replaces usernames and passwords online. We recognize you by your smartphone instead of anything you have to remember or type to make logging in faster, safer, and much easier.
The New York Times describes logging in with Clef as "magical" and with dozens of sites adding Clef login every day, the experience is spreading to more users every day.
Passwords pit human memory against the brute force of computers — passwords can get longer and more complicated, but eventually we're going to lose. Clef wraps the security of public key cryptography in a mobile app that makes logging in fast and simple. Walk up to any computer and point your phone to be logged in instantly.
After launching in June of 2013, it took 16 weeks to add the first 100 sites using Clef. By February, more than 1,000 sites were protecting their login with Clef, and by the end of March there were more than 2,400.
The only security that matters is the security we use, and, traditionally, additional security slowed down user signups and return logins so marketing and growth teams fought to keep them out of products. Clef escapes the tradeoff in usability by letting a mobile device do all of the work — protecting sites from security breaches while actually increasing signups and retention.
Public key cryptography is used by engineers and security experts every day because it's the strongest way to identify yourself. Clef uses that same standard process, but makes it approachable and simple enough for anyone.
For more information, check out getclef.com.