Despite being invented in the early 1960s, passwords remain a standard way to verify one’s identity online and offline, regardless of how the digital landscape has changed. 

Patrick Smith, founder and CEO of Zally, is determined to end passwords as we know them. He chose Manchester as his base of operations in 2022, and is working with the Global Scale Up team of GC Business Growth Hub.  

Zally was also among the cohort for our sister publication TechBlast’s recent inaugural FUEL Manchester event at KPMG, where more than 20 promising businesses gained access to 12 established entrepreneurs and experts in a series of masterclass pods across funding, growth planning, people and branding.

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Password managers and facial recognition are becoming part of daily password management. Why is Zally’s concept of eliminating passwords revolutionary? 

In London, I was a consultant for eCommerce businesses before moving to Manchester. I noticed that the company faced several challenges related to account creation and password friction, which resulted in cart abandonment and lost revenue. Since these problems negatively impacted businesses, I set out to create a world without passwords.

Using behavioural biometrics and AI technology, I developed a platform that verifies the user’s identity seamlessly and passively while they interact with their device. Rather than relying on physical biometrics, such as facial recognition or fingerprints, we created ‘digital DNA’ based on over 50 sets of data continuously monitored by the user’s device. With this data, we can determine who uses the device at any given time based on patterns in the user’s interactions with it. We call it continuous authentication, confirming ‘you are you’ continuously.


In July 2022, my team and I relocated to Manchester to establish our company, Zally. We joined the Greater Manchester Digital Security Hub (DiSH), which provides business support and mentoring opportunities for digital and cyber businesses in Greater Manchester. GC Business Growth Hub partnered with the DiSH programme and delivers bespoke support and growth sprints for the DiSH accelerator programme.

What difference did the support from GC Business Growth Hub have on your young business? 

After being introduced to the Business Growth Hub through the DiSH programme, we participated in a full-day session organised by the business advisors of the Global Scale Up team. The session consisted of 12 startups at various stages of their journey, and we all encountered similar challenges posed by the business advisors in finding more agile growth plans.  

The session proved highly beneficial for us as it presented real-life examples of the business challenges we will be facing. It also provided us with tools that we could implement in our company to overcome those challenges. 

In addition, working with the Global Scale Up team provided networking opportunities and exposure. Participating in these activities has helped raise awareness about the company and enables us to attract the right talent, which addresses one of our main challenges.  

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Why did you choose to set up Zally in Manchester?

Finding the right talent and securing funding are the biggest challenges for a tech startup. Manchester is home to an abundance of skilled cybersecurity professionals, and since moving here, our team has grown significantly. Despite London’s prominence as an investment hub, we have found excellent funders in Manchester as well, providing the opportunity for knowledge sharing and collaboration.

It is crucial for us to have a strong community in Manchester in order to grow exponentially. I can confidently say that if I had set up a company in London, I would not have experienced the same level of growth as I did in Manchester. It would simply not have happened there. 

A question for Sarah Novotny, head of digital, creative and technology at Business Growth Hub: how did you support Zally and what are the services you offer businesses across Greater Manchester?

Greater Manchester is a superior launch pad for businesses to start selling their products and services worldwide. The Business Growth Hub is proud to help businesses of all industries to discover and successfully enter new markets. Our specialist advisor teams can help overcome a whole host of challenges whilst also signposting to international opportunities. We are proud to be part of growing the ever-increasing community of GM businesses, such as Zally, that are becoming thought leaders on global marketplaces.

To find out more about GC Business Growth Hub’s impact in Greater Manchester, please visit – Our Impact | GC Business Growth Hub

GC Business Growth Hub was part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2021, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. Working in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.

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