Zamna — which uses a blockchain to securely share and verify data between airlines and travel authorities to check passenger identities — has raised a $5 million seed funding round led by VC firms LocalGlobe and Oxford Capital, alongside Seedcamp, the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF), Telefonica and a number of angel investors.
In theory, as more passenger identities are verified digitally over time and shared securely between parties, using a blockchain in the middle to maintain data security and passenger privacy, the airport security process could become virtually seamless and allow passengers to sail through airports without needing physical documentation or repeated ID checks.
Zamna says its proprietary Advance Passenger Information (API) validation platform for biographic and biometric data is already being deployed by some airlines and immigration authorities.
Here’s how it works: Zamna’s platform is built on algorithms that check the accuracy of Advanced Passenger Information or biometric data, without having to share any of that data with third parties, because it attaches an anonymous token to the already verified data.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Irra Ariella Khi, co-founder and CEO of Zamna, says: “There is a preconception that when you arrive at the airport somehow — as if by magic — the airline knows who you are, the security agencies know who you are and the governments of departure and destination both know that you are flying between their countries and have established that it is both legitimate and secure for you to do so.
Even if you have provided your identity data and checked-in in advance, and if you travel from the same airport on the same airline many times over, you will find that you are still subject to the same one-off passenger processing (which you have probably already experienced many times before).
Zamna’s data verification platform pulls together multiple stakeholders (airlines, governments, security agencies) with a way to validate and revalidate passenger identity and data (both biographic and biometric), and to securely establish data ownership — before passengers arrive at the airport.