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CyberLink subsidiary Perfect Corp prepares for Nasdaq public listing with merger

Listing prompts stock price jump
CyberLink subsidiary Perfect Corp prepares for Nasdaq public listing with merger

Perfect, a subsidiary of CyberLink that uses AI SaaS and augmented reality (AR) for the beauty and fashion industry, will merge with Provident for a public Nasdaq listing later this year with financial backing from CyberLink.

Perfect, a Taipei, Taiwan-based company that is a spinoff of multimedia and facial recognition firm CyberLink, offers the application of AI SaaS and AR for the beauty and fashion industry. The technology powers 3D facial and hand modelling, AI skin diagnostics and simulations, AR-empowered video consultations, live product try-on, and personalized facial attribute recommendations. Perfect began using CyberLink’s biometric technology even before its FaceMe facial recognition solution was launched in Asia.

As of 2015, Perfect claims that its enterprise solutions are used by 19 of the world’s top 20 global beauty groups and over 400 beauty brands in more than 80 countries. It further says that its consumer apps have also achieved over 950 million downloads globally and enabled over 10 billion virtual product try-ons annually.

The company plans to merge with Provident Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in the third quarter of 2022 and set a value of over $1 billion. The combined company will be listed on the Nasdaq with the aim to accelerate Perfect’s global expansion, extend its industry coverage beyond fashion and beauty, and augment its AR and AI SaaS solutions such as product try-on, facial diagnostics, and digital consultation solutions.

A press release says the merger is expected to raise up to $335 million, with $50 million from a concurrent PIPE (private investment in public equity) transaction. The PIPE transaction is said to be anchored by investors including Chanel and CyberLink.

Alice Chang, founder and CEO of Perfect, says, “By combining with Provident, we expect to not only attain access to the public capital markets, but also attract more world-class investors, enhance our corporate governance, expand our market reach, increase development in AI & AR technology and explore white space, such as adjacent fashion verticals and metaverse applications of our technologies.”

Since the announcement, CyberLink’s stock rose from TWD $88.20 (US$3.10) on March 3 market open to TWD $105 ($3.70) as of March 9, a 19 percent increase. CyberLink says it will own 36.3 percent of Perfect’s shares upon the SPAC merger. The company anticipates an investment loss on Perfect due to an increase in financial liabilities with the merger but expects its ownership stake to be valued at US$366 million following Perfect’s Nasdaq listing, a ten-times return on its investment.

“Perfect Corp.’s global leadership in AR and AI technology, its proven track record of success in working with the world’s leading beauty brands, its high revenue growth and expanding profit margins, and its attractive valuation make it a perfect fit for our business combination,” says Michael Aw, CEO of Provident.

The news of the merger accompanies a release of notes for a 2021 fourth quarter investor conference by CyberLink. The company predicts the facial recognition market will increase to $20.63 billion by 2030, and will match the growth with its FaceMe face biometrics engine. FaceMe will be moving into vertical solutions such as retail and office applications, and spending more on R&D and sales in the field, CyberLink says

CyberLink has also reported that its 2021 full-year revenues declined by 3.9 percent to NT$1.58 billion (roughly $56 million).

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