Tech Startup Story: Eric Dadoun, Twizo
Eric Dadoun is the Chief Commercial Officer for Twizo. This week, we caught up with him to find out his story before Twizo, and the challenges he and his team faced when starting the two-factor authentication and cybersecurity platform.
“The process and strategy behind growing a new idea into a tangible and successful business are incredibly exciting to me. It’s not only about the end-goal but very much about the process and journey of getting there which is an experience I very much look forward to sharing with all of our current and future partners at Impiro, Silverstreet and Twizo.” – Eric Dadoun.
What were you doing before setting up Twizo?
I have been very busy with Silverstreet dating back to 2006. Silverstreet is the main company under which we operate Twizo. The latter is our two-factor authentication and cybersecurity platform that naturally developed as part of our activities in the telecom and cloud communications space. We wanted to address what we felt was a gap in the two-factor authentication space and so we built out the platform and wrapped it in its brand packaging under the Silverstreet umbrella.
Can you share with us what is Twizo and how does it work?
Twizo is our answer to what we viewed as a mostly stagnant two-factor authentication industry. We felt existing solutions were costly, difficult to integrate with and cumbersome as well as restrictive for consumers.
With Twizo, we offer six different ways to authenticate a user with more on the way. Our theory here is that we feel this gives people a wide variety of choices to find an authentication method that best suits their preferences. In addition to our paid services we also offer 100% free solutions as we realise that 2FA can be a costly thing for some companies and so we wanted to eliminate any potential budgetary restrictions that companies might be facing.
Lastly, we made integration super simple! Our APIs are easy to navigate, we have one-line-of-code integration options for basic engagement, and we have a handful of plugins for 3rd party platforms.
How did the idea come about?
When we looked at the two-factor authentication space, we felt companies were overly reliant on SMS, and Voice tokens which have the potential to be costly and from a consumer engagement standpoint can periodically be cumbersome to use. While we offer those solutions as well, we felt there was a lot of room for improvement to make things easier and frictionless. Especially with companies like Standard Chartered bank moving away from traditional token solutions to more of a mobile experience, we felt consumers expect more from their 2FA engagement.
Cybersecurity is important, but “security” doesn’t need to mean “complicated” or “hard”.
What were the initial challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
I suppose one of the fun things in business is that it is a fluid environment we all operate in and so the challenges we face are fluid as well! On a product level, we’re thrilled with what we have built, but we’re always engaging our customers to understand more about their needs and also doing a lot of research to stay on top of industry trends. Beyond that, it’s just an ongoing battle to get our metrics right regarding customer acquisition strategies and positioning yourself correctly.
Where do you see Twizo in the next five years?
Five years is a long time! While we, of course, discuss the macro roadmap, we’re more focused on a “crawl, walk, run” strategy. Right now we are aiming to continue releasing additional authentication methods on top of the six we already have as well as to keep engaging the developer and businesses community through workshops, hackathons and other outreach efforts.
You started your entrepreneurship journey when you were 17. What’s the source of influence?
Curiosity, necessity and an almost stubborn inability to accept that things cannot be improved. I’m super grateful to have access to the opportunity I have with Silverstreet, Twizo and some of the other projects we are involved with.
What’s next for Twizo?
We are involved with a variety of projects related to Silverstreet, Twizo and our overall group but what we are doing with cybersecurity is a huge priority! We are working very hard to engage the developer and enterprise community in Southeast Asia and beyond. We are also working hard to engage regulatory bodies in understanding more about their approach to encouraging 2FA adoption within their business environments. Of course, all of that is taking place in parallel to our team researching and rolling out additional methods of authentication.