Name: Real User Corp.
Big idea: Created a new user verification system based on choosing familiar faces out of multiple groups of nine faces. The company hopes its program will replace traditional text-based passwords.
Founded: Mid-1990s in Britain by Hugh Davies, who came up with the original idea for Passfaces. Paul Barrett, chief executive, moved the company to the United States in March 2001.
Web site: www.realuser.com
Who's in charge: Paul Barrett, chief executive; Jim Melonas, executive vice president; and Andrew Ryan, chief technology officer.
Funding: The company has raised "in the neighborhood" of $700,000 from angel investors and management, Melonas said. Firm hopes to complete a $1 million to $2 million round of funding during the first half of 2005 and to have at least 100,000 Passface users by the end of the year.
Employees: Seven, with five in the United States and two in Brighton, England, where the company's research and development unit is based.
Partners: Titan Corp., Control Break International, BearingPoint, Enterprise Solutions Group, Information Technology Management Inc. and Sidus Group.
Big-name clients: U.S. Senate, Congressional Budget Office, General Services Administration, Titan Corp., Control Break International, Surfnet, University of Maryland Baltimore County and PRMS Inc.
Origin of company name: "They're very descriptive names," Melonas said. "The company prides itself in helping entities determine who their real users are, and you've heard of passwords, but now you have Passfaces."