ID.Me co-founders Blake Hall and Matthew Thompson. (Jeffrey MacMillan/Jeffrey MacMIllan for Washington Post)

Tysons Corner-based ID.me is the recipient of a $1.2 million grant from the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop and test online identification technology.

ID.me plans to use the grant to earn Level of Assurance 3 credentials from the General Services Administration, which will allow its members to securely identify themselves when interacting online with federal agencies.

Co-founder Blake Hall said the award provides the company with the money to “achieve things on the roadmap that weren’t feasible for the next couple of years to get [them] done in the next 12 months.”

ID.me expects it will receive a second grant worth $1.6 million from the agency after a year.

The company’s mission has evolved since it was first founded in 2010 as an online marketplace and daily deals site for military families. The company now authenticates military and public safety personnel to access online discounts and benefits at retailers.

More than 200,000 veterans and service members use ID.me’s Troop ID service to access benefits online, according to a news release.

ID.me was one of five firms chosen to share in the $7 million in grants to support the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. Created in 2011, the initiative brings together companies, advocacy groups and government agencies to build technologies that improve online security and privacy through identification technology.

“The grants announced today will support privacy-enhancing technologies that help make Internet transactions more secure, including better protection from fraud and identity theft, and are an important step toward giving American companies and consumers greater confidence in doing business online,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said in a news release.

Both Hall and co-founder Matthew Thompson said the selection also adds more legitimacy to the fledgling company and its technology as it looks to develop relationships with major corporations.

“To be a part of the president’s national strategy is a huge stamp of approval,” Thompson said. “We were evaluated by a number of identity management experts and they selected our identity solution as one of just five from a large pool of applicants who wanted to be a part of this national strategy.”

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