ImageWare updates progress in transition towards cloud biometric services and hires VP of Engineering

ImageWare updates progress in transition towards cloud biometric services and hires VP of Engineering

ImageWare Systems has reported a slight drop in revenue for its biometric technologies for the first quarter of its fiscal 2020 year, compared to the same quarter a year earlier, but with a higher gross profit margin and a lower net loss.

The previous quarter held a series of significant developments for ImageWare, including multiple new agreements totalling over a million dollars in revenue that expand the company’s footprint in financial services and government. Kristin A. Taylor was appointed the company’s new president and CEO during the quarter, and the company expanded its portfolio of biometric intellectual property with the granting of its 23rd patent. ImageWare also launched a review of all products, services, divisions and departments, and began carrying out cost-cutting measures to line up its burn rate and revenues, according to the announcement.

Since the quarter’s end, ImageWare has also appointed a new CFO and VP of Product Management. Now, ImageWare has also added a new Vice President of Engineering, with Sudheer Koganti bringing expertise in building and managing products in embedded, mobile and cloud environments built up over nearly two decades of holding leadership positions at Qualcomm. Koganti holds more than eight patents, according to the announcement, including one for a basic algorithm to sync data between a device and a server.

“I am super excited to join ImageWare and ready for the challenge to take industry-leading Identity Platform and GoVerifyID suite to the next level of security, scalability and ease of use,” Koganti states in a press release.

ImageWare reports revenue of $796,000 for Q1 2020, down from $931,000 in Q1 2019, but its gross margin improved from 78 percent to 85 percent in the same span, due to higher sales of software compared to professional services, and its ongoing steps to reduce costs. Net loss decreased from more than $3.6 million in last year’s first quarter to just over $3.1 million, and net loss per share fell from $0.05 to $0.04.

“Late in the first quarter we immediately began to lay a new foundation, and in the second quarter we started adding layers on what we foresee as a planned and thoughtful path to successfully build ImageWare 2.0. My goal is not to simply do things differently; but do them with a laser focus that allows us to stake leadership claims in the multi-modal biometric authentication markets. In Q2, we’ve already taken a number of meaningful steps in that direction,” says Taylor.

In particular, Taylor identifies updating components of its cloud and mobile-supporting identity platform, transforming GoVerifyID into a Biometrics-as-a-Service (BaaS) product, refreshing its website and building a new self-service portal, and formulating go-to-market strategies in key verticals to build revenue as focuses of ImageWare’s shift.

An audio replay of a conference call on the results is available from the company’s investor relations website.

For full-year 2019, the company reported a 20 percent decline in revenue to $3.5 million, though loss per share was unchanged from the year before.

De La Rue to raise £100M to execute turnaround

De La Rue is planning to raise £100 million (US$123 million) through a share placement, but will halt production at its Gateshead factory where UK passports and bank notes are made after losing the passport contract to Gemalto in a change that takes effect this month.

The Financial Times reports that the company will retain about 100 workers at the site, cutting about 250 staff. Banknotes for the UK and other countries will be produced at De La Rue’s location in Essex and other factories outside the country.

The £100 million share placement is intended to help the company execute a turn-around strategy, and allow it to invest in its authentication and security features division. That means capacity to produce polymer banknotes increasingly used around the world, according to the report.

The company appointed Clive Vacher as CEO last year, and warned that high debt and declining profits could put its future at risk. It has already cut £24.8 million ($30.6 million) in annual costs out of a planned £35.9 million ($44.2 million) target, two-thirds of the way through a three-year plan.

De La Rue’s last full year results included a revenue decline of £427 million ($ million), or 17 percent, exacerbated by an unpaid bill from Venezuela’s government.

The sale of the company’s international identity solutions business to HID Global helped the company trim its net debt by £4.7 million ($5.8 million) to £102.8 million ($126.7 million).

An investigation into De La Rue’s business in South Sudan by the UK Serious Fraud Office also ended this week, due to insufficient evidence.

Genetec takes commanding position in video surveillance software market

Genetec has been identified as the world’s top developer of vide surveillance software by research firm Omdia, which says Genetec is continuing to build its position and build up its market share.

The company grew at three times the pace of the overall market, and based on Omdia’s comparison of top five video surveillance software manufacturers by region, had the fastest growth among the market’s leaders in all geographies. In particular, Genetec revenues in the EMEA region grew by 19 percent even as the regional market contracted.

“Genetec is encouraged by this news but we remind ourselves that the true measure of success is not to be found in market share figures but whether or not our partners and customers feel like we have delivered against the service levels and outcomes they expect,” states Genetec Inc. President Pierre Racz. “Our independence and single-mindedness have helped us earn the trust of the market, and our investment in research and development have helped us deliver products at the cutting edge of client needs.”

Racz continues, “We have a broader obligation to our communities and society. As such we have been outspoken about privacy and cyber-security. We strongly believe that security and privacy can coexist and deliver greater benefits together than in isolation. We also believe that this is what fuels our continued success with organizations that share these values. We will continue to work hard to earn their trust.”

Genetec’s market share increased from 10.6 percent in 2018 to 11.9 percent at the end of 2019. Omdia’s report indicates it is now the largest supplier of back-end video surveillance equipment in the Western world.

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