Toopher Closes $2 Million Funding, Graduates into the Austin Technology Incubator

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Unique Authentication Security Technology Created at UT Continues Earning Accolades Including Invitation to Speak at Exclusive AGC RSA Pre-Show

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), in the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), is pleased today to announce that Toopher has officially graduated into the Incubator as an IT portfolio company. Toopher recently closed a $2 Million Series A round of funding from investors including Alsop Louie Partners of San Francisco. Since its inception, the company has earned accolades, winning several showcases, and being invited to present at prestigious technology events like SXSW Accelerator and DEMO. Toopher will also be speaking in February at the exclusive AGC security forum just prior to the annual RSA Security Conference.

Toopher was started by Evan Grim, a UT PhD student in software engineering, and Josh Alexander, an adjunct professor teaching financial derivatives at UT’s McCombs School of Business. Toopher was founded in 2011, selected as a finalist for the Austin Business Journal’s Tech Innovation Awards in October 2011, and joined ATI’s Longhorn Startup Development Portfolio in January 2012. With this round of funding, Toopher joins ATI as a full IT portfolio company this month.

This follows the end of December close of Toopher’s $2 Million Series A funding from Alsop Louie Partners, Dallas-office of Stonehenge Growth Capital, Austin-based Corsa Ventures and others.

“Toopher is doing something that is very technically difficult, but is very easy for customers to integrate into their system, and is very simple to use,” said Stewart Alsop, partner, Alsop Louie. “That’s what we look for: entrepreneurs that have solved a really difficult problem and have the opportunity to grow really fast.”. In April 2012, Toopher was invited to present on stage at the DEMO conference, after executive producer Matt Marshall was impressed by Toopher being one of the companies selected for SXSW’s Accelerator program in March 2012. In May 2012, Toopher won the Startup Showdown as part of the Austin Technology Council’s annual CEO Summit. In October, Toopher won the Mobile Monday Austin Startup Showcase at the 10th annual Texas Wireless Summit (TWS Additionally, in October, Toopher was selected to join the Austin A-List by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.)

“Toopher is revolutionizing authentication and finally making security work for us, utilizing the technology already in our pockets in ways mirroring our everyday activities and interactions” said Kyle Cox, director of ATI's IT/Wireless and Longhorn Startup Development Portfolios. “It is great for Austin that this game-changing technology is coming from our students and faculty at the University of Texas, and we are excited for ATI to be part of the continued growth of Toopher.”

“Our experience working with ATI over the past year in its Development Portfolio, which helps members of the UT community turn their ideas and research into companies, has shown us what a huge value-add ATI is for start ups,” said Josh Alexander, Toopher’s co-founder & CEO. “From advice and guidance to intros and connections to physical and technological resources, ATI has helped shape Toopher into what it is today, and we look forward to taking everything up a notch working together in this next phase.”

In 2012 cybercrime caused over $114 billion in losses (larger than the GDP of Peru) and affected more than 550 million users (larger than the population of Europe). The largest concentration of cybercrime victims live in the United States and the average breach costs enterprise over $6.6 million to repair. Toopher has developed a breakthrough technology to automate strong, out-of-band authentication, which uses location-based capabilities of a smart phone to prevent online fraud and identity theft. Once Toopher’s mobile app has learned its users’ normal locations, they don’t even have to take their phone out of their pocket.

About Toopher
Founded in 2011 by a University of Texas PhD student and an adjunct professor, Toopher has developed a game-changing authentication technology to prevent online fraud. Toopher eliminates online fraud and identity theft by providing automated, hassle-free two-factor authentication. Toopher works within current user behavior and everyday activities, using the location awareness of a smartphone to authenticate and protect user identity, all without leaving the user’s pocket. With a Software As A Service product that is true strong, out-of-band two-factor security, Toopher is funded by investors such as Alsop Louie and was a Development Portfolio company of the Austin Technology Incubator. For more information, see or on Twitter: @toopherauth.

About the Austin Technology Incubator
The Austin Technology Incubator works with early stage technology companies to increase their odds of success and decrease their time to capital and markets. ATI, a part of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, has a 25-year history of successful new venture support with a focus on getting startups funded. ATI has helped more than 250 companies raise over $1 billion of investor capital. More than 85% of ATI's 2012 graduating class received funding totaling more than $175 million. ATI has a dual mission: promote economic development in Central Texas through entrepreneurial wealth and job creation, and provide a “teaching laboratory” in applied entrepreneurship for UT-Austin students.

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Robin Murphy
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