NEXT Biometrics raises $20 million to meet smart card demand
NEXT Biometrics Group ASA has raised close to 165 million Norwegian Crowns (NOK), or approximately $20.3 million USD through an oversubscribed private placement, the company announced last Thursday. The funds will enable NEXT to scale its capacity to produce flexible sensors for use in smart cards.
NEXT recently announced it had won a volume order for biometric smart cards, which it says is the industry’s first. The biometric smart cards are scheduled for delivery beginning in the third quarter of 2016, and the company expects to deliver 650,000 units to the undisclosed customer in 2017, necessitating quick fundraising action. OTI PetroSmart also received an order for more than 500,000 biometric smart cards from Smart Applications International in April.
The company has been ramping up towards supplying mass market biometric smart cards. It announced another private placement in November, that one with Greenbridge Partners, followed by the launch of its 1411-S module in February. When announcing the volume order, NEXT CEO Tore Etholm-Idsoe also said that the company’s sensors meet the recently published ISO/IEC 17839 standard.
For the latest private placement, NEXT produced 1,240,000 new shares at a price of NOK 133 (around $16.35 USD). The NEXT board of directors authorized the issuance of the new shares at an extraordinary general meeting in November.
“The net proceeds from the Private Placement will be used to invest in increased flexible sensor production capacity, further smart card related R&D and general corporate purposes,” said Etholm-Idsoe.
Following the requisite registrations and filings, NEXT will have an issued share capital of 14,751.855 for the same number of shares. It also has plans to compensate existing shareholders which it will seek approval for at its next annual general meeting this week.
In related news, NEXT partnered with Arrow Electronics to launch a Windows 10 IoT solution in February.