Next Biometrics completes $10.5M private placement to drive growth
Next Biometrics has successfully completed a private placement of 14,819,897 new shares raising NOK 89 million (approximately US$10.5 million) to strengthen its balance sheet and finance accelerated growth of its fingerprint sensor business.
The biometrics provider completed the process through a rapid bookbuilding process to place new shares which concluded at the end of trading day on February 17 with a subscription price of NOK 6.0 per new share, a 9.8 percent discount from its closing price that day.
The new shares represent about 19.5 percent of Next Biometrics’ total issued share capital, and the placement was endorsed by the company’s board of directors at a meeting same day.
Next also completed multiple private placements last year.
The Next Biometrics board emphasized the need to raise additional equity to strengthen the balance sheet and finance accelerated growth in a fast and practical manner, that the subscription price was reached after due process, that the private placement move was principally directed towards new institutional investors so as to expand its share base, and that no subsequent offering shall be proposed.
Only two shareholders of Next currently hold stakes above five percent.
Preliminary fourth quarter results announced
In a separate announcement, Next Biometrics updated its commercial progress, highlighting 19 design wins since Q4 2019, and multiple purchase orders in all three of its main biometric product areas. The company currently expects its run rate revenue target of NOK 150 to 200 million (US$17.6 million to $23.5 million) and gross margin of between 35 and 40 percent will be achieved between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.
Preliminary revenues in the fourth quarter of 2020 were NOK 8.8 million ($1 million), slightly down from NOK 9.2 million ($1.1 million) in the same quarter a year earlier. Gross margins spiked to 16 percent, from negative 2 percent in Q4 2019. Operating expenses were NOK 10.7 million ($1.3 million), compared to NOK 45 million ($5.3 million) a year ago.
Next announced an increase sale of fingerprint sensors for biometric POS devices in India earlier this month.