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Fingerprint Cards cutting costs following tough quarter for mobile biometrics

SmartMetric, BLS International, Precise Biometrics, Ping Identity and Plurilock updates
Fingerprint Cards cutting costs following tough quarter for mobile biometrics
 

Fingerprint Cards reports third quarter earnings of 143.2 million Swedish krona (US$12.8 million), well down from SEK 354.3 million ($31.6 million) in the same quarter of 2021, as Covid lockdowns in China depressed its mobile sales volumes.

Gross margin, EBITDA and operating results were all down accordingly.

Fingerprint Cards has been diversifying its product portfolio, and expects 30 percent of its revenues to come from products other than capacitive biometric sensors for mobile devices by the end of the year. By the end of 2023, it sees 45 percent coming from outside of its mobile capacitive sensor business.

The company says in the earnings update that a perpetual hybrid equity instruments issue has brought in SEK 75 million, and it plans to carry out a fully guaranteed rights issue to raise a further SEK 300 million.

“The stock accumulation and decline in demand has left us in a strained situation in terms of working capital,” says Fingerprint Cards President and CEO Christian Fredrikson. “In view of the above, and as previously announced, we issued hybrid equity instruments in an aggregate amount of SEK 75 M and the Board has resolved on a fully guaranteed SEK 300 M rights issue. These measures will strengthen liquidity and will allow us to continue to finance important customer projects and investments in research and development. In parallel, we are implementing a cost reduction program to adapt the company to the more challenging situation. As previously communicated, this program is expected to reduce operating expenses by approximately 20 percent with full effect from the fourth quarter of 2022.”

Fredrikson notes a pair of recent launches of biometric payment cards featuring the company’s technology in Morocco, and a recently-formed partnership with Tesco to promote the technology in the same region.

SmartMetric seeks funding

A form 10-K filing by SmartMetric shows the company is actively seeking financing to continue its research and development on powered biometric smart cards, and its general operations. Management plans to continue a relationship with Geneva Roth remark to raise funds beyond private placement stock sales, according to an announcement.

CEO Chaya Hendrick told Biometric Update earlier this year that SmartMetric’s biometric card had been accepted for testing by a major payments network ahead of a launch.

SmartMetric had accumulated a deficit of close to $30.5 million as of June 30, 2022, with $126,791 in cash and equivalents on hand.

The company says it can continue at the current level of operating expenses through the start of its fiscal quarter beginning on April 1, 2023.

Sharma buys stake in BLS International

High-profile investor Shankar Sharma has bought 1.15 million shares in identity document operations provider BLS International at a price of 316.25 million Indian rupees (approximately US$3.8 million), or Rs 275 ($3.30) each, Devdiscourse reports.

BLS runs outsourced biometric enrollment centers for visa applications and related processes, and recently signed a contract to provide services for the German government in the U.S. and Mexico. The company has more than 46 government clients, according to the report.

Sharma is the co-founder of Indian investment firm First Global.

Precise completes share issues

Precise Biometrics has detailed the results of a rights issue and a directed issue, both previously announced, through which it has received approximately SEK 44 million (roughly US$3.9 million).

The rights issue resulted in subscriptions for 2,871,564 ordinary shares, or roughly 43.5 percent of the issue. Egis Technology took a quarter of the rights issue, in addition to taking a 10 percent stake in Precise through the directed issue.

“I would like to thank our existing shareholders who have participated in the rights issue despite the current market climate,” comments Precise Biometrics CEO Patrick Höijer. “We now have a significantly strengthened cash position as well as a deeper collaboration with Egis Technology, as they are now joining as long-term shareholders in the company. We see that this overall strengthens our ability to expand our existing business in new verticals over time, fully in line with our strategic growth agenda.”

Thoma Bravo-Ping, Plurilock-Atrion deals closed

Thoma Bravo has closed its acquisition of Ping Identity at the agreed to all-cash price of $2.8 billion.

“The closing of this transaction underscores how identity security and frictionless user experiences have become essential in the digital-first economy,” says Andre Durand, CEO and founder of Ping Identity. “With the support of Thoma Bravo, Ping Identity can further accelerate innovation to deliver the easy and secure digital experiences customers demand from every industry.”

Likewise, Plurilock and Aurora Systems Consulting have closed the acquisition of assets from Atrion Communication.

The assets take the form of network infrastructure and security solutions, and the deal is expected to enable Aurora to boost its technology and grow its operations.

The $3.7 million acquisition was initially agreed to in August, and is expected to bring Plurilock’s behavioral biometrics to more customers on the East Coast of the U.S. The integration of Atrion’s assets is expected to boost Plurilock’s annual run rate to approximately CA$50 million (US$36.3 million).

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