Biometrics implications considered amid fundraising, speculation, recognitions
Momentum for biometrics providers’ stock offerings is seen in a strategic investment received by Trust Stamp, Evolv’s merger and Idex Biometrics marking the official launch of the day’s trading on the Nasdaq. An investment fund manager is weighing the rights implications of face biometrics and offering guidance, as investor interest continues to mount.
Trust Stamp raises $1.5M
Trust Stamp has picked up $1.5 million in a strategic investment from Second Century Ventures (SCV) to advance its biometric identity services.
The investment is part of Trust Stamp’s Regulation D funding round, and is the fourth by SCV, which is the venture capital fund of the National Association of Realtors. Due to close ties including a non-executive director of Trust Stamp and the company’s participation in SCV’s vertical tech accelerator program, the participation is deemed a Related Party transaction, but has been approved by the other directors in consultation with the company’s Euronext Growth Advisor, according to the announcement.
Trust Stamp announced the $5 million Reg D offering last month.
It also announced a $6.5 million funding round in September to cap a series of 2020 funding announcements.
Investment fund looks at facial recognition implications
Investment fund manager Candriam has published a 32-page investor guidance document on facial recognition and human rights risks, as part of its responsible investing effort.
The report covers well-known abuses of face biometrics in individual investigations in the U.S. and broadly-deployed surveillance systems in China, as well as controversies around demographic performance differentials and data provenance. It also provides practical guidance to corporate issuers, governments and universities, which includes a set of questions about governance and risk management.
“Today, Facial Recognition is a topic with no transparency. Its use is welcomed by some, controversial for others. It can be misused, and demonstrably exhibits biases and errors,” the report concludes.
“Without transparency, we cannot assess these controversies.”
Could Jumio be next big biometric IPO?
Jumio employs nearly five times as many people as Mitek, which the article points out is the one pure-play company with publicly traded stock in the digital identity verification market.
Forbes suggests that Jumio’s ability to sustain its rapid growth may depend on its adherence to its principles of empowering the people closest to customers, attracting, motivating and rewarding talent, product innovation, holding people accountable, and fighting bureaucracy.
Evolv merging, wins award for touchless screening system
Special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) NewHold has filed a Form S-4 Registration Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a merger with Evolv, under which it will change its name to Evolv Technologies Holdings, Inc, and trade on the Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol ‘EVLV.’
The transaction closing is subject to the usual conditions, and is expected in the second quarter of 2021.
Evolv has also won a 2021 Artificial Intelligence Product Excellence Award from the Business Intelligence Group for its Express touchless security solution. The company says its systems have been used to screen more than 50 million people, behind only the Department of Homeland Security among U.S. organizations.
Idex rings Nasdaq Opening Bell
Idex Biometrics rang the Nasdaq Opening Bell to signal the start of training on April 8, 2021, with CEO Vince Graziani and members of the company’s teams in the U.S. and Europe participating.
The company listed its American Depository Shares on the exchange in March.