Dashlane, a stealth startup that vaguely promises to help consumers “do more” online, announced Wednesday that it has raised $5 million in a Series A round co-led by Rho Ventures and FirstMark Capital. Dashlane co-founder Bernard Liautaud also participated in the round. In addition to the new funds, Habib Kairouz of Rho Ventures and Rick Heitzmann of FirstMark Capital will join Dashlane’s board of directors.
The company is keeping mum about its product, other than to say that it is a consumer application that will solve the dilemma of having to re-enter account information, such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, and more when you go from website to website. Dashlane won’t say how it plans to do that, but CEO Emmanuel Schalit assured me that it will all become clear when the product launches later this fall.
When asked if the product is an e-commerce solution akin to PayPal, Schalit told me: “We’re attacking the problem from different angle, not just checkout but lots of other things as well. Our vision is to solve the global problem of friction on the internet. Previous attempts never scaled, browsers have tried to do it, password managers, checkout systems…but we have a different approach that is more consumer based and will be easier to adopt for consumer and merchants.”
Sounds promising (I’m interested to see how Dashlane’s solution solves the problem of different websites that have different username and password requirements. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has four or five different passwords for all of my different accounts).
The “friction” on the Internet is even more true of mobile devices, which more and more people are using to go online in place of desktop and laptop computers today. Most mobile devices don’t have keyboards, so it stands to reason that if the conversion rates of visitors completing transactions online are already low, then the conversion rates of mobile users are even lower.
While we wait for Dashlane to reveal how it plans to tackle the problem of entering information online, Schalit gave me a few other details about the company. It currently has 12 employees and its R&D team is headquartered in Paris, but it also maintains an office in New York City, which he says is due in part to the convenience of being in a time zone slightly closer to Europe’s, but also due to the difficulty of trying to grow as a young startup in Silicon Valley.
“It’s easier to get funding on the east coast, and especially in Europe,” said Schalit.