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Bitwarden acquires Passwordless.dev to help companies authenticate users without passwords • TechCrunch

Bitwarden acquires Passwordless.dev to help companies authenticate users without passwords • TechCrunch

Bitwarden acquires Passwordless.dev to help companies authenticate users without passwords • TechCrunch

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Open-source password management platform Bitwarden has made its first known acquisition, taking over a young Swedish startup called Passwordless.dev, which specializes in helping developers integrate passwordless authentication technology. goes through their software.

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The news comes shortly after 1Password and LastPass rival Bitwarden announced its first outside funding since its founding in 2015, securing $100 million from PSG and Battery Ventures. The company also revealed at the time that it raised a previously undisclosed Series A round in 2019.

The password problem

Similar to other password management services, Bitwarden is designed to allow individuals and businesses to automatically create hard-to-guess passwords and store them all in a secure vault. This is to help people avoid reusing the same predictable password across all of their online services. Bitwarden’s main selling point, however, is that it’s open source — or at least available, which means it promises full transparency in the codebase, while allowing the community to contribute and help develop new features.

Today, Bitwarden is looking to capitalize on a burgeoning trend in online security, which is seeking to put passwords in the history books – compromised passwords, after all, are responsible for most corporate security breaches.

Indeed, there has been a concerted push towards passwordless authentication in the technology landscape. Last year, Apple, Google and Microsoft teamed up to support a new passwordless login standard called WebAuthn, while Apple separately introduced a new feature called Passkey that allows users to use their Apple device to log in to online services without a password. .

Elsewhere, passwordless-focused startups such as Hypr, Magic and Stytch have attracted venture capital dollars to bolster their respective efforts.

Bitwarden, for its part, already offers some support for passwordless authentication, such as biometric logins for Bitwarden’s own apps, while also supporting two-factor authentication physical security keys. (2FA) such as YubiKey. But by bringing Passwordless.dev under its wing, Bitwarden wants to make it easier for developers to integrate native biometric login intelligence into their software, while also allowing enterprises to modernize their existing applications that currently rely on passwords.

Founded in Sweden in 2020, Passwordless.dev has gone unnoticed since its inception. But the company provides APIs based on WebAuthn, a web standard developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to support secure password logins. Passwordless.dev essentially allows developers to embed WebAuthn into software with a few lines of code, reducing many of the costs and complexities of introducing passwordless authentication into software.

Bitwarden acquires Passwordless.dev to help companies authenticate users without passwords • TechCrunch

Passwordless.dev enables enterprises to implement passwordless authentication in minutes

Starting today, Bitwarden launched a new beta service called Passwordless.dev by Bitwarden, which allows any third-party developer to integrate biometric login technology such as Touch ID, Face ID, and Windows Hello into their apps.

“This saves weeks of coding do-it-yourself passkey implementations,” Bitwarden CEO Michael Crandell told TechCrunch in an email. “Enterprises also have business apps that still rely on passwords for authentication and want to provide users with password-free experiences. Bitwarden Passwordless.dev helps them quickly add WebAuthn and passwordless authentication features in these applications.

Passwordless.dev by Bitwarden will be free during its initial beta period in Q1 2023, after which the company has announced that it will offer paid plans covering certain levels of usage and functionality.

While Bitwarden wouldn’t disclose how much it paid for the startup or how many employees it’s hiring under the deal, it did confirm that Passwordless.dev hasn’t raised any external funding during of its two years of existence, which means it probably didn’t break the bank for the acquisition.

Bitwarden also confirmed to TechCrunch that Passwordless.dev will continue to be offered to developers independently of other Bitwarden products.

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