Idex Biometrics plans $25M private placement as card partner approvals pile up
A planned private placement could raise $25 million for Idex Biometrics as the company looks to cover the cash requirements forecast for it to reach the break-even point in cashflow. The announcement comes as an ongoing partnership between Idex and Chinese smart card manufacturer Hengbao has taken another step forward. A biometric payment card made by the collaboration has been approved for use with the UnionPay network.
Hengbao can now proceed with the manufacture of the cards which incorporate Idex’s fingerprint sensors for payment authentication. The cards are described as dual use because they function as payment cards and also as access or personal identification cards.
China’s Bank Card Test Center put the biometric cards and software through their paces and passed them for use by UnionPay, the world’s largest payment network with 9.4 billion cards in circulation. Idex now has biometric cards approved by Visa, MasterCard and UnionPay, which together cover 90 percent of global card payments.
Hengbao and Idex have been partnering in Asia for three years. “We take great pride in the confidence Hengbao and its banking partners have shown in Idex Biometrics by selecting our fingerprint authentication solution for this innovative new product,” said Idex CEO Vince Graziani.
“Through tight integration of our proprietary matching algorithm with the THD89 secure element from Tongxin Microelectronics, this new card provides industry-leading authentication performance, addressing needs for security, speed, and hygiene. The enhanced multi-use card will be an important step in the broader adoption of biometrically-enabled smart cards in China.”
The certification follows on the heels of Idex partner Idemia receiving a Letter of Approval from Mastercard, making it’s F.CODE biometric payment cards fully certified for both Mastercard’s and Visa’s networks.
Second private placement of 2021 planned
The certifications also tee up the second funding round of the year for Idex, after the company picked up $27.5 million in a private placement at the beginning of 2021. Graziani, CFO Jamie Simms, VP Finance Erling Svela, Board Member Annika Olsson and a company closely related to Marianne Bøe, Idex’ head of Investor Relations, have all pre-committed to subscribe to the private placement.
Idex plans to go through an accelerated bookbuilding process, which is expected to end on November 10, and then the Board will set the number of offer shares and share price. The anticipated minimum application and allocation amount for the private placement is the NOK equivalent of €100,000.
Settlement is expected on November 12.