DUST Identity: How This Company Uses Diamond Unclonable Security Tags For Supply Chains

By Noah Long ● July 23, 2019
  • Framingham, Massachusetts-based company DUST Identity — the pioneers of first diamond unclonable security tag for supply chain security — announced it raised $10 million

DUST Identity — a Framingham, Massachusetts-based company that are pioneers of the first diamond unclonable security tag for supply chain security and end-to-end tracking — announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins and participation from Airbus Ventures, Lockheed Martin Ventures, New Science Ventures, Angular Ventures, and Castle Island Ventures.

This round funding comes on the heels of the company seeing significant momentum. Ever since DUST Identity launched out of stealth in 2018, the company has engaged and deployed pilot programs with some of the world’s leading technology and consumer electronics brands as well as government organizations. And it has seen traction in industries including automotive, luxury goods, cosmetics as well as oil, gas, and utilities.

The Diamond Unclonable Security Tag (DUST) is an inexpensive, invisible, and easy-to-apply coating of tiny diamonds that allow a manufacturer or enterprise to combine high-security authentication with full lifecycle tracking that traces down to the component level. And an optical scanner and cloud-based infrastructure provide an interface to the object identity and provenance.

“Today’s global value chains are facing new threats and challenges, and key stakeholders are recognizing that DUST Identity is the leading solution to truly protect the integrity of their supply chains,” said Ophir Gaathon — the CEO and co-founder of DUST Identity. “There is a lot of stress today on current controls, and in some areas, organizations and their 3PLs are simply missing tools. In our view, the lack of trusted physical identity to parts and products is at the heart of a wide range of issues. We want to empower people with the ability to trust things by having a secure binding between data to the physical objects. Maintaining the integrity of the data is vital, but it is not enough. We need to extend the trust into the products.”

The funding will be used for accelerating product development and engineering, continuing to fuel global go-to-market strategy, deployment, and growing the customer base across industries.

“At a time when there is a growing trust gap between manufacturers and suppliers, DUST Identity’s diamond particle tag provides a better solution for product authentication and supply chain security than existing technologies,” added Ilya Fushman — a partner at Kleiner Perkins.  “Following our seed investment in the company last year, we are delighted to lead the Series A.”

Earlier this year, DUST Identity achieved several milestones including induction into the MIT Startup Exchange STEX25 and it struck a partnership with SAP to provide a blockchain interface to the physical world. The company also announced it appointed Cisco chief security officer Edna Conway to its advisory board. And the company was named a BostInno Startup to Watch and a BuiltIn Boston Startup to Watch. On top of that, the company also doubled employee headcount.

“DUST Identity’s approach to digital and physical security is robust and unique, both unclonable and future-flexible. As a result, DUST Identity’s use cases span applications across a wide variety of both industries and steps in the supply chain. Providing part traceability, securing cargo, and connecting the digital twin to the physical asset, all call for new innovative tools to link data to things,” explained Thomas d’Halluin the Managing Partner of Airbus Ventures, “As a new means of creating secured and trusted data, DUST Identity’s solution can ultimately directly support blockchain and alternate frontier software platforms – and thus we’re particularly excited that DUST Identity represents one of the first solutions that can bridge the physical/digital trust divide.”

DUST Identity also offers the only unclonable and uncompromisable security tracking solution for hardware authentication and asset protection. And the technology addresses a growing challenge of businesses and organizations that are experiencing vulnerabilities and security disruptions as their global value chains become more digital and dynamic. The use cases span industries and sectors and include data center security, raw material traceability, hardware component integrity, and counterfeit luxury goods.

“The supply chain is critical for any production line, and the ability to confidently verify components is vital to that line and the customers who depend on the final product,” commented Chris Moran — the vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. “Investing in DUST Identity’s technology offers the potential to enhance the verification and traceability process for all parts at multiple tiers in the supply chain.”