Dashlane Takes On One of the Internet’s Biggest Problems: Friction

January 17, 2012

10:00 am

Leave it to Google to give the perfect illustration of a problem we forget we have. In the video below, Google asks, “What if real-life purchases were like online checkout?” – with all the confirmations, questions about contact info, and even timed-out sessions – to explain why online sellers need Google Analytics.

But the video also explains why online buyers need Dashlane – a form filler (and more) that is aiming for a “frictionless Internet.”

Dashlane’s dashboard stores your contact info, credit cards, and passwords. It then inputs usernames and passwords to help you log in to websites, like 1Password, but with slightly less friction – if you choose automatic logins, you don’t even have to click a button. (With both programs running, I actually had trouble getting 1Password to work because Dashlane seemed to override it.) Dashlane can also create strong passwords for you.

For ecommerce, Dashlane can store contact info and credit card numbers for multiple cards. (Credit card info is stored locally on your computer, not on Dashlane servers, so you have to reenter it if you have multiple computers.) This is especially useful on mobile – where filling in dozens of fields with information is a “nightmare.” One neat feature that sets it apart is logging purchases and screenshots from the checkout process, so you have a record in case something goes wrong.

To succeed, Dashlane will have to stand out among competitors, which even include browsers like Chrome (as the video above shows, Google knows this is a problem, and could expand Chrome’s autofill capabilities). But more important is security: I still hesitated a moment before inputting all my passwords into Dashlane. Overcoming hesitation like this requires proving their reliability to customers – which might include advertising their $5 million in funding led by Rho Ventures and FirstMark Capital.

CEO Emmanuel Schalit is the one in charge of surmounting these difficulties. He left a CEO job at CBS Outdoor looking for work at a tech startup with global potential, where he would have a “meaningful stake in the company.” (Based in Paris and New York, Dashlane is targeting the United States first.) Schalit has held a host of other executive roles – including SVP, School, at Vivendi Universal Publishing and COO at publishing house La Martiniere Groupe – that have prepared him to be Dashlane’s CEO.

“In a startup, even though you have to work with more limited resources, you must always build certain things in your company as if it was already big,” he says. “This is the only way you can cope with rapid growth when it happens.”

Those things include hiring employees for the long term and building scalable systems like software and customer service.

Dashlane is in private beta, but Tech Cocktail readers can sign up here to start using it now.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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