Travel technology specialist Amadeus has made a strategic investment in Washington, DC, startup Airside and its biometrically enabled identity verification platform. The move will enable the integration of some of Airside’s components into the Amadeus Traveler ID platform, helping the travel industry to create frictionless experiences for travelers, the company said.
The platform enables US citizens and Canadian visitors to the USA to pass securely through customs by using its Mobile Passport app. Authorized by the US Department of Homeland Security, the application has already been downloaded by over eight million passengers and is recognized in more than 30 US airports.
Airside works by enabling travelers to submit their passport and Customs Declaration forms to the app ahead of time so that they can then access separate, fast security lanes at the airport. The traveler scans their documents using the app and a decision about border entry is made immediately, speeding up their journey.
Airside puts privacy and control in the hands of the passenger thanks to its decentralized architecture, which means that passengers control their own data rather than it being stored in a central database that may be vulnerable to breaches.
“This marks the first investment made by Amadeus Ventures this year. As with all our investments, it is centered on solutions that improve the passenger experience,” said Suzanna Chiu, head of Amadeus Ventures, Amadeus.
“Biometrics is a key trend for the industry, and one we feel has the potential to reshape air travel as we know it today. Airside has developed an innovative identity management solution that presents many opportunities to improve the passenger journey.”
Airside has previously received investment from backers including Bain Capital, Blazar Ventures, GroTech Ventures and several other leading venture capital firms.