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small business briefing

Nymi bands by Toronto-based Bionym.

Toronto startup Bionym has closed a $14-million (U.S.) funding round led by a number of high-profile investors, including Relay Ventures, Export Development Canada (EDC) and MasterCard.

Bionym has developed a wearable product called the Nymi band, which authenticates a user's identity by heartbeat, or unique ECG. It can be used with applications that require passwords, PINs and keycards. The company has logged more than 10,000 pre-orders with a release scheduled for the fall.

"Bionym is a game-changer in that (it is) the only one putting ownership of authentication into the hands of the consumer," said John Albright, co-founder and managing partner of Relay Ventures, which also participated in Bionym's seed round.

The latest investment – in which Ignition Partners and Salesforce Ventures also contributed – was a Series A round, funding that often still carries high risk, but tends to occur when a company is starting to generate some revenue. Bionym currently employs about 40 people.

"We're establishing the Nymi as the de facto platform for persistent, trusted identity, and this round of financing is providing us with the resources needed to bring the platform to market," Karl Martin, CEO and founder of Bionym, said in a press release.

"We're at the forefront of a revolution in identity-based interactions with devices and services, and our momentum continues to grow with the support of our investors and strategic partners."

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