Soft market conditions hit biometrics revenues but fundraising, deals foreshadow expected bounce
Earnings reports by publicly-traded companies that provide biometrics are showing some effect from the generalized financial turmoil of the pandemic. Each disappointment seems to be balanced by signs of growth, however.
Plurilock has announced a successful private placement of share equity and extended the market reach of its behavioral biometrics. NEC has accepted a public sector investment partner for its Avaloq acquisition. Both NEC and FacePhi have reasons for optimism despite lower revenues in 2020, and an investment analyst sees major revenue growth ahead for Idex Biometrics. Amazon is fending off its own shareholders, while Zwipe, Aware and RealNetworks each made some housekeeping announcements.
Plurilock raises $2.5M and signs behavioral biometrics reseller agreement
Plurilock has raised approximately $2.5 million in a non-brokered private placement of 5,555,555 units at a price of C$0.45 (US$0.35) each, with plans to use the money to fuel its growth initiatives and for general corporate requirements.
Each unit one common share and every two constitute a purchase warrant, with the latter redeemable at C$0.65 ($0.51) for 24 months.
The offering is expected to close February 15, 2021.
A Plurilock subsidiary also has a new reseller agreement with UK-based cybersecurity company Tantallon to provide its behavioral biometrics and continuous authentication technology to its clients amongst the Fortune 1000 and government financial sector organizations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“We are pleased to announce a Reseller Agreement that will see the extensive distribution of Plurilock solutions on a global scale,” states Ian L. Paterson, CEO of Plurilock. “Our authentication technology has the ability to protect users from data breaches during remote work sessions and we are delighted that Tantallon recognizes its value as a differentiated offering that can adapt to the new work-from-home economy.”
NEC 9-month profit grows despite general market deterioration
NEC booked a 9.3 percent increase in net profit in the nine months ending December 31, 2020.
The company’s revenue declined by 6 percent over the three quarters, which it attributed to general market deterioration due to COVID-19.
Smart city projects scaled back, but the company sees them ramping back up over time, while NEC’s 5G equipment businesses reported major gains.
The company’s full-year 2021 forecast remains unchanged.
NEC has also accepted an investment from the Fund Corporation for the Overseas Development of Japan’s ICT and Postal Services (JICT), which will go to a special purpose company established to hold Avaloq. Finextra reports the investment of $338 million will give JICT 14 percent of the special purpose company.
FacePhi reports record client growth in 2020
FacePhi is reporting €7.2 million (US$ million) in revenue in 2020 after signing up 22 new clients.
While the company’s revenue was down 11.3 percent compared to 2019, FacePhi signed up only 13 clients that year. Gross profit dipped significantly, as the company has also been hiring new personnel.
FacePhi capped an eventful year by raising $40 million in funding, giving it liquidity to fuel future growth.
CEO Javier Mira responded to the results; “in a situation of generalized economic paralysis due to the health crisis of Covid-19, these financial results show the great effort that the company is making to continue being a benchmark firm in the field of biometric solutions, with a growing presence among large banks, financial groups and the health sector.”
Mira says the company plans to maintain market leadership in Latin America while growing in Asia during 2021.
Idex could sell $500M in biometric payment card tech by 2025
An analysis of Idex Biometrics by Zacks Small Cap Research suggests the company could reach $500 million in sales by 2025, and be valued as high as $5 billion, as biometric payment cards are adopted.
Zacks SCR gets to those figures by noting a minimum expectation of 400 million biometric payment cards shipped by 2024, with Idex possibly receiving $3 per unit for however many it supplies among those. The analyst also notes Idex’ design certifications by Mastercard and UnionPay.
Idex signed contracts in 2020 worth $7 million in revenue, and is currently shipping those orders. The company currently trades at a $241 million market cap, and should have a value multiple of about 10.1 times its sales, more like its peers, according to Zacks SCR.
Idex recently filed documents to up-list from the OCT market to the Nasdaq.
Zwipe approves three new nomination committee members
Three new members were elected to the Zwipe’s nomination committee during a recent Extraordinary General Meeting.
Niclas Eriksson, Lars Windfeldt, and Jörgen Lantto are joining the committee, with Windfeldt taking the chair position. Lantto is chairman of Zwipe’s Board, and recently increased his investment in the company.
Amazon asks SEC to block shareholder surveillance review proposal
Ring’s Neighbors Portal program, which has stirred controversy for Amazon in the past, signed up close to 1,200 local police and fire departments just in 2020, more than doubling the size of its surveillance network, according to a Financial Times report.
Other proposals would see the company examine its policies around hate speech, and workforce diversity. None of the measures are likely to be approved, however, even if they are not blocked by the SEC, according to the report.
Aware and RealNetworks schedule FY2020 earnings calls
Aware will report the fiscal results for its biometrics software, solutions and services for 2020 on February 9.
A 2:00pm PT webcast presentation will be held by management, followed by a question-and-answer-session. An audio recording will be available for about 90 days after the event.
RealNetworks will release its fourth quarter and full-year results for 2020 on February 10.
The company will host an investor call at 1:30pm PT, with a live webcast available from its investor relations site, which will be archived.