Remark announces sale of Vegas.com in pivot to pure-play AI and facial biometrics company
Remark Holdings will divest Vegas.com from its assets and transition to a pure-play artificial intelligence enterprise to deliver biometric facial recognition as part of its portfolio of retail, public safety, and security products.
The company announced the intention as part of its Q1 2019 earnings report. Remark recorded revenues of $19.5 million in the quarter, up from $16.7 million in the first quarter of 2018, with the increase driven by its Travel & Entertainment segment. The Technology & Data Intelligence segment that includes AI-based retail and safety solutions contributed $0.4 million, with a further $0.9 million committed, but deferred until its collection, which is anticipated to begin in Q2.
Remark slashed its stock-based compensation for significantly lower costs and expenses than a year earlier, and its operating loss decreased from $21.2 million in Q1 2018 to $5.8 million in the last quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was negative $3.1 million, compared to negative $6.9 a year earlier.
“During the first quarter, we continued to build-out our AI products in the large supermarket space, while working with additional partners in laying the ground work to deploy our AI solutions in the retail, public and workplace safety and surveillance arenas,” says Remark Holdings Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kai-Shing Tao. “Our current retail initiative is leading to tangible gains for our strategic partner in the areas of consumer targeting, engagement and in-store revenue, which bodes well for the ongoing deployment of our solutions in additional large retail venues. We’re also executing against an active pipeline of proof of concept initiatives that introduce our proprietary technologies, application flexibility and cost-efficient approach to a range of blue-chip companies in China and Southeast Asia.”
Two large supermarkets in China have deployed Remark’s Smart AI product, leading to gains in consumer targeting engagement, and in-store revenue for Remark’s partner, and the company says it is working closely with a diverse group of clients at various stages of deployment to bring its AI products to the retail, construction, traffic control, food safety, and entertainment markets.
Remark also scored a top-20 finish in the Wild Photos category of the NIST FRVT 1:1 Verification, beating out industry leaders including SenseTime and Face++.
The Vegas.com sale is expected to close in Q2 2019, following a special stockholder meeting on May 14.