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Blockchain travel verification startup Zamna secures $5M in seed funding

Mon, 28 Oct 2019, 06:08 am UTC

Blockchain travel verification startup Zamna has secured $5 million in a seed funding round led by LocalGlobe and Oxford Capital, TechCrunch reported.

The round also saw participation from Seedcamp, the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF), Telefonica, IAG (International Airlines Group), and a number of angel investors.

Previously VChain Technology, London-based Zamna is a biometric and advance passenger information validation platform for airlines and governments. It uses blockchain technology for sharing and verification of data between airlines and travel authorities to check passenger identities in a secure manner.

The company is basically trying to securely connect individual data and verifications – something which is currently siloed between airlines and local governments, who cannot interact without exposing the underlying sensitive data sets.

“There is no easy and secure way for airlines and government agencies to share or cross-reference your data – which remains siloed (for valid data protection reasons). They must, therefore, repeat manual one-off data checks each time you travel,” Irra Ariella Khi, co-founder and CEO of Zamna, told TechCrunch.

Zamna is leveraging modern cryptographical approaches and distributed ledger technology to address this challenge. By allowing functional cross-referencing between siloed data sets in a secured manner, it can reduce the need to physically check passenger data in airports, thereby enabling a more seamless travel experience with less delays and queues.

“Our technology provides governments with a secure, trusted and privacy-centric way to identify passengers arriving at their borders, while helping ensure in advance of flying that each passenger has the right status to travel – and will not pose a threat to the countries they are intending to visit,” Zamna said.

How the platform works is that it attaches an anonymous token to verified data. Various parties – airlines, airports and governments – would then be able to access that secure, immutable and distributed network of validated tokens without the need to see the sensitive data held by an agency, or competing airline. Using Zamna’s technology, any of these parties can then validate passengers’ biographic and biometric data.

The company said that some airlines and immigration authorities have already started deploying its proprietary Advance Passenger Information (API) validation platform for biographic and biometric data.

Zamna is working with Emirates Airline and the UAE’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners (GDRFA) for check-in and transit checks. It is also is a strategic partner to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in the Passenger Facilitation and Aviation Security groups and an active member of IATA’s “One ID” working group.

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