NEC leads Tascent’s $19.5 million investment round to enhance iris biometrics

Tascent has raised $19.5 million in a Series B funding round led by NEC Corporation and Tano Capital, and says it plans to use the funds to expand its multimodal biometric offerings and global footprint.

NEC will work with Tascent to enhance its iris recognition capacity, combining its biometric engines with Tascent’s optical control and UI technologies to produce a next-generation iris authentication product for the public safety market, according to an announcement.

“NEC has long delivered the benefits of multimodal biometrics with our industry-leading solutions, and we expect that Tascent’s expertise in technology innovation, solution development, and product design will help NEC to further grow the biometric identity market,” said Masakazu Yamashina, Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation.

More than 700 systems around the world use NEC’s Bio-Idiom multi-biometric authentication solution, and the company’s iris recognition algorithms were found by NIST to be the most accurate in testing earlier this year.

Yamashina also said that the safety business was identified in its “Mid-term Management Plan 2020” as an engine for global growth, and that NEC plans to expand its social solutions business through both M&A activity and building up its own core technologies.

“Tascent is excited to partner with NEC to develop world-class identity solutions and to accelerate the adoption of multimodal biometrics in government and commercial applications,” said Alastair Partington, Founder and Co-CEO of Tascent, Inc. “The unique combination of NEC and Tascent technologies has great potential to address today’s identity challenges, making life easier and safer for people around the world.”

Markets Tascent focuses on include consumer travel, enterprise access, employee identification, and government services. The company partnered with First Advantage to launch a mobile fingerprint software for employee background checks earlier this month.

Min Aik Technology Co. also participated in the funding round.

“This is an exciting time to be innovating in biometrics and identity. Biometrics has become an important part of our daily lives, thanks to solutions that are both accurate and intuitive,” said Joey Pritikin, Founder and Co-CEO of Tascent. “Our global partnerships in technology, sales, and support have played a pivotal role in the company’s success, and the participation of NEC and Min Aik in our B Round will help drive Tascent’s future growth.”

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