Ever since the iPhone 5S hit shelves in September, sporting its fancy Touch ID fingerprint sensor, fingerprint biometrics companies have been on the receiving end of a ton of attention. Sensors on smartphones stand to break down barriers faced in enacting BYOD policies, online payment protection and even physical access to limited areas.
BIO-key International is a fingerprint biometric solutions company, and as such has been profiting from the renewed popularity of its authentication verification technologies. Today the company announced that it has completed a private direct placement raising $3.7 million in equity capital (before deductions and agent fees).
BIO-key CEO Mike DePasquale speaks to the increased popularity of the biometrics industry as a whole, saying, “The Biometrics Industry and BIO-key have enjoyed a significant increase in awareness and visibility as a result of the Apple iPhone 5s release, as well as other fingerprint-enabled device releases.”
Android devices featuring the technology are expected to hit the North American market by early 2014, and there are already a number of smartphones in Asia that boast biometric protection.
“As these devices are delivered and deployed, our solutions, including VST, WEB-key and FreeChoiceID, will provide for ubiquitous and interoperable finger biometric access for enterprise and consumer use, on the device, in the network or in the Cloud,” continues DePasquale. “Inquiries from potential customers and partners have increased and we are engaged in several new developments with industry stake-holders for both device level applications and Cloud applications. This is a critically important time in the industry and this capital raise will fund near term investments, primarily in sales & marketing, as well as incremental R&D.”
BIO-key’s vice president of corporate development Jay Meier wrote a thoughtful piece on the end of the password less than one week before Touch ID was announced, and as the resultant months have seen the post-password paradigm corroborated, BIO-key’s stance has also strengthened.
“With several handset manufacturers incorporating sensors in their flagship smartphones, there is no doubt the commercial and consumer adoption of biometrics has started,” says Meier. “This fresh capital is essential to engage the growing pipeline of opportunities and will enable our 2014-2015 plan to be more granular and tactically focused to drive sales over the near-term.”