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Mixed financials from biometric firms to match mixed times

Mixed financials from biometric firms to match mixed times

There is no one trend wending its way through biometric ID company financial announcements, and in that way, they are directly mirroring the trend in many national economies right now. The only clear certainty is that there are few clear certainties.

The reshuffling at biometric authentication company Aware was chancy when it began three years ago, and it is not clear yet if it is succeeding.

Revenue was off in fiscal 2022, which the company attributed to lower services revenue (a drop that executives say was softened by better subscription and maintenance revenue.) They greatly narrowed their loss, but that was aided by the sale of real estate.

Indeed, Aware has moved away from its previous sole focus on government work – executives say a quarter of their revenue is commercial. They are aiming at enterprise onboarding and authentication across vertical markets. And Aware hired a chief revenue officer billed as a SaaS specialist in August.

With so much else in the air globally, it is hard to draw conclusions. Here are the fiscal 2022 numbers:

The company reported a loss for the year ended December 31 of $1.7 million, or eight cents per diluted share, on revenue of $16 million. This compares with a loss of $5.8 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $16.9 million in fiscal 2021.

Aware reported a $5.7 million gain from the sale of its principal executive offices.

ID verifier and holding company Clear Secure, meanwhile reports a plateaued net loss of $115.4 million, or 16 cents, on revenue of $437.4 million in fiscal 2022. This compares with a net loss of $115.1 million, 23 cents, on revenue of $254 million in 2021.

Clear reports that its total bookings, one of the company’s key performance indicators, rose 55 percent fiscal 2022 over 2021. Last year posted $527 million in total bookings. Fiscal 2021 saw $341 million.

The continued post-Covid revival in travel was a significant help, according to Clear, as was the eight service launches in so many airports.

Total cumulative enrollments, another key indicator, was up 48 percent year over year.

The only significant indicator that fell was in net retention of annual Clear Plus members, according to the company. This fell .4 percent. There was a year-over-year drop in the number of cancelled members that staff were able to entire to rejoin.

European defense electronics and digital ID player Thales does not break out too many details about what it calls its “smallest but most profitable unit,” Digital Identity & Security.

Executives have said that the unit will double its 14.9 percent sales growth rate to “consolidate” this year over next, according to reporting by Reuters. Its operating margin – its profit – will stall, however. It will drop from 14.9 percent to as low as 13.5 percent.

Thales as a whole saw its fiscal 2022 core operating profit shoot up 15.6 percent and its sales rise 5.5 percent.

Xtract One, maker of a face-matching threat-detection gateways, is reporting its first half, ended January 31. Its profit was CAD$9.2 million (US6.7 million), or six cents a share, on revenue of CAD$1.5 million ($1.1 million) . That compares with a profit of $4.1 million ($3 million), or three cents, on revenue of $1.8 million ($1.3 million) during the first half of 2022.

An investment in Xtract One by a prominent New York City business attracted more attention than usual due to a controversial use of facial recognition. One of the many titans of real estate in the city has decided to use AI to keep out any attorney the CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment chooses, though Xtract One provides weapons detection at MSGE facilities, not face biometrics.

MSGE invested $8.4 million (US$6.3 million at the time) during the period, and another $5 million could be on the way.

Finally, ID verifier Intellicheck, due to report its financials, has postponed the announcement. It is now expected to occur March 21.


Updated 4:09pm March 22, 2023 to note Xtract One does not provide face biometrics at MSGE facilities.

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