Diro is a company that calls itself as the first globally decentralized identifier and private access platform. Sounds a little complicated? It is essentially a company that is geared towards solving the issue of identity theft and enhance a person’s cybersecurity.
The platform can verify documents, remotely authenticate identities, and eliminate a lot of elements that compromise privacy through its encryption software. Let us take a deeper dive into the story behind Diro.
Who Are The Founders Of Diro?
The team of Diro is a rather broad one. The company began with 4 founders Arjun Singh, Vishal Gupta, Sumeet Singh, and Nikhil Rai. All four of them hail from diverse backgrounds and contribute to the company in their own unique way.
While Arjun Singh has a career being a solutions architect, Rai has insights into consumer behaviour. Sumeet Singh hails from a background of finance and Gupta is a coder and holds multiple patents to his name.
Diro sees and needs people from multiple disciplines such as Java engineers, user experience design, business analytics, testing engineers, advisors, consultants, and administrative employees. Currently, the company has listed over 50 employees on its website.
So How Does Diro Work?
Essentially the company is coming through with technology that can authenticate an individual’s identity and online documents in an instant. It works a lot along the principles of blockchain. All documents are logged in with a timestamp, a secure sockets layer, and a hash. (A hash is a numeric ID assigned to a person so that personal details like their names and age is not disclosed to any involved party).
But unlike other verification applications, Diro doesn’t work in isolation to one person. It can crowdsource contacts through shared phonebooks and verify a person’s identity based on the people they know and their contact lists. Diro calls this a “social fingerprint” which makes it impossible to misidentify a person.
“This is where it’s going to all sit, so all these things will get linked together. When you have these contacts books, they also give you social graphs. When you’re using a phone, you’re calling your mom, dad, friends, family, clients, vendors, it kind of validates your identity every day, and that’s the best place to build an identity system, where it can be trusted and you can actually have a social recovery of your keys, social recovery of your credentials or whatever. That’s the place where validation happens, and it’s decentralised, you don’t need a central authority for that.” says Vishal Gupta.
The amount of contact based information disclosed to Diro and the way it will be disclosed is completely customizable.
“Diro allows capture of web documents behind secure logins across the web and government websites by individual consumers. It immutably captures the secure provenance information behind SSL/TLS using a cryptographic hash that’s added to the blockchain. It can capture original documents and eliminate the need for verification”
Some extra features that Diro gives to its customers apart from authentication include:
- Archive Contacts
- Intelligent Search
- Import from Excel
- Automatic De-duplicate
- Smart Dialer
- Works Across Platforms
- Auto Backup on Cloud
- Seamless Card Exchange
- Rewind Changes
How Does Diro Protect The Data?
The captured documents of the customer are encrypted with a combination of a password & private key. Using their unique private keys the customers can choose to share this document with any institution. At that time, the authorised institution gets the password to the encrypted document. When it comes to Diro having a repository of the data, Diro says the following on its website:
“Diro does not retain access to the document nor does it store the private key. Further, we provide a secure way to protect & retrieve customer’s private keys.”
Diro in so far has raised 4 funding rounds between 2014 and 2016.
The first round in 2014 got the company $200k from 1 investor, the second round got them $200k from 3 investors, and the third and fourth rounds got them $450 and $150k from one investor each respectively.
In total across four rounds, Diro Labs has raised USD$1 million in funding from investors with the last round being conducted in December 2016.
Investors for Diro labs include Info Edge, Vishal Gupta, Dhruv Gupta, Nitin Singhal and Ankur Goyal.
Growth and The Future:
Diro Labs from just going from 4 founders is now a strong team of 5 people.
Along the way, the company has also picked up multiple accolades and awards.
In 2019 NASSCOM recognized Diro as one of the top 10 blockchain companies in India. In 2017 the company also won the national award for the Most Innovative Startup of The Year. This year Diro also was one of the startups selected by the IDBRT Banking Technology Innovation Contest. (The IDBRT is a subsidiary of the RBI).
Diro and the founders of the company feel that the company is heading in the right direction for the future for the sake of itself and its consumers.
” I think blockchain is far better than using cash in the economy, so this definitely has to go mainstream, we just need to get the systems around it. in India the government starts using Aadhaar data to kind of hack the democracy again, we would have a big problem. So decentralising is definitely the way to go in the long run.”
Diro as a company is not just dealing with user security. It is also dealing with institutional and systematic problems that come along with consumers being unaware of how much their identity is worth.
Blockchain companies like Diro are not only fighting the battle to do good business in countries like India, but they are also trying to make consumers aware as to how they are helping them, how much their data matters, and how much of a game changer good privacy can be.