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ZKTeco plans $190M IPO in China, US factory for biometric access control devices

ZKTeco plans $190M IPO in China, US factory for biometric access control devices

ZKTeco made close to $250 million in revenues from its biometrics and access control technology in 2019, and is planning an IPO on the Shenzhen stock exchange to raise roughly $190 million, IPVM reports (subscription required and highly recommended).

The funding would be largely used to build three factories, two in China, where ZKTeco is based, and one in the U.S., in Georgia, which is where ZKTeco USA is based. The company also has a subsidiary in India, and dozens of others overseas, as well as more than a dozen in China.

IPVM calculates ZKTeco’s likely valuation of at least $1 billion, and notes that the filing document says it achieved impressive net profit margins last year and high annual growth. ZKTeco is headquartered in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, with a workforce of several thousand, hundreds of whom are based overseas, according to IPVM.

The planned Georgia factory would be built near Atlanta, and IPVM translates the filing document as saying it would supply “mid-to-high-end biometric products.” IPVM says that thus far there is no Chinese physical security manufacturer with a plant in the U.S.

The report also says the rapid rollout of devices with facial recognition and body-temperature scanning boosted net profits at the U.S. subsidiary.

In addition to ‘smart identity,’ which includes fingerprint, palmprint, vein, iris and face biometrics, ZKTeco’s main areas are ‘smart entrance control’ and ‘smart office’ solutions, which also include biometric time and attendance and POS systems. Starting in 2019, the company pivoted from a hardware focus to providing complete solutions.

For context, IPVM explains that if ZKTeco was in the larger video surveillance manufacturing market, it would be China’s fourth largest company in the space behind Hikvision, Dahua and Uniview.

Facial recognition case study

ZKTeco has also published a case study on the use of its facial recognition technology in Japanese vending machines.

Vending machines represent an optimal advertising medium, the company says, but with limitations in terms of advertising area. To overcome those limitations, fast and precise recognition of potential users’ gender and age from facial characteristics enables effective targeting.

Face biometrics-based technology is appropriate to this use case, ZKTeco says, but is traditionally challenged by outdoor lighting conditions, prompting ZKTeco to develop a new system.

The company deployed the ZKTeco FA10M Facial Recognition Module, powered by the ZKLiveFace 5.6 SDK algorithm, to the front of the machines. The module uses both visible and near-infrared cameras, a binocular WDR image sensor and visible fill lights.

This post was updated on December 24, 2020 at 12:49pm Eastern to encourage readers to access the IPVM source article.

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