Clef replaces passwords on the web. Walk up to any computer in the world, hold up your phone, and Clef instantly logs you in. Modern cryptography in your pocket replaces the 6 characters in your head; forgotten passwords become a thing of the past.

about the company


Mark Hudnall is a Founder & CTO

Brennen Byrne is a Founder & CEO at Clef.

Jesse Pollak is a Founder & Chief Product Officer at Clef.

Clef in the press

March 17, 2017

When two-factor authentication app Clef shuts down in June, its staff will join Authy

lef was a mobile authentication app that I chose for increasing my own WordPress security when I started blogging years ago — as did a million other sites. However, the app is officially and unexpectedly shutting down on June 6th ; former employees will continue working on other projects at Twilio, including the Authy app and API. I spoke with Clef co-founder, B Byrne and asked a few questions to understand what causes an app with a sizable user base to suddenly fail. The loss of a mobile authentication app will be felt by the people who were using it (including myself), probably first with a feeling of being inconvenienced. Byrne will be leading product for the Authy API, but will be “working in close proximity” to his former Clef associates.

Feb. 6, 2017

Surprising Lessons from a 24-Year Old Startup CEO

B Byrne is the co-founder and CEO of Clef, a service that provides secure two-factor authentication without passwords or tokens. You just hold up your phone in front of any computer in the world and Clef will instantly log you in. If you enjoyed this podcast, then please consider sharing this using the social sharing buttons on this page. Additionally, if you’d like to support this podcast, it would be really helpful if you would take a few minutes to leave a review on iTunes. And don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes so you can receive automatic updates on new episodes.

Sept. 24, 2015

Oakland To Tech: Please Don’t Screw This Up Like Last Time

“I think the thing that comes to mind when people think about tech coming into Oakland, it’s not that they dislike tech,” Jones told me last month. For Uber, the Oakland building is an extension of the main headquarters in Mission Bay, San Francisco; it’s not the central location. Another fast-growing program called MissionBit puts dozens of volunteer programming instructors in the San Francisco Unified School District’s after school programs. Tech companies that move into Oakland will need to challenge their own assumptions about who can and can’t do the work. “We know Uber chose Oakland — that it was attracted to Oakland — because of our progressive values, our unique assets in this region and our incredible, innovative energy,” Schaaf said.

Feb. 19, 2015

Clef Offers Two-Factor Authentication Without All The Codes

Oakland-based Clef has designed a two-factor authentication system that cuts out the codes and the time spent entering them. One popular defense you can use to bolster data security on most services is two-factor authentication. On your phone, you open a Clef app, verify it’s you with Touch ID (or a PIN), and then point your phone’s camera at the screen. More than 40,000 sites have signed up to use their two-factor authentication system, and having just graduated from StartX’s most recent class of companies, Clef is now working on growing its engineering and marketing staff to bring in more clients with bigger user bases. By scanning the wave form, Clef shows that you’re actually sitting there in front of the app, and it’s all done in seconds.

Feb. 5, 2015

Our Top Five Startups At StartX’s Fall 2014 Demo Day

StartX, the Stanford-funded and affiliated incubator, just held its demo day for the Fall 2014 batch of startups at its headquarters in Palo Alto. In no particular order, here are the five startups whose pitches piqued our interest:LightUp – Makes connected toys that teach kids the fundamentals of electronics and programming. The 20 companies presenting ran the gamut from Bitcoin and cybersecurity to open source machine learning. Clef – Two-factor authentication that doesn’t require bouncing between your laptop and phone to enter passwords and temporary numeric codes. Instead, it generates a wave form on your desktop, and using the camera on your phone, verifies that you’re actually present and on the computer.