Zwipe, the biometric authentication company, has raised $5m in equity from Photon Future Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the high-tech Chinese holding group Kuang-Chi Group.
The investment will be used to accelerate the commercialisation of its biometric authentication technology and to finance further research and development activities.
“The growth capital and commercialization support of Kuang-Chi comes at the right time as the biometric sector progresses rapidly and we are preparing to expand our global reach and product offerings,” said Kim Kristian Humborstad, Founder and CEO of Zwipe.
The Norwegian company came to prominence last year when it launched a contactless payment card with a built in fingerprint sensor.
The company believes that fraud and identity theft is rising rapidly and will lead to “digital biometric handshake” replacing PINs, passwords and signatures on all platforms.
With this investment, Kuang-Chi becomes Zwipe’s largest shareholder with a 20 per cent stake in the company. In addition to this investment, Kuang-Chi supports the commercialization of group companies’ technologies with market knowledge, research and development resources and industry networks.
“At Kuang-Chi, we are looking for companies with strong technology platforms that can be commercialized and scaled so that we can integrate our business sectors and diversify our business. Zwipe is at the forefront of the emerging field of biometric identification and we are excited about the company’s impressive technology and opportunities,” said Dr. Liu Ruopeng, founder of Kuang-Chi.
The new investment brings the total amount raised by Zwipe since its inception in 2009 to $11 million.
It seems laptops are about to catch the biometric fever as PayPal, Intel, Lenovo and Synaptics are collaborating to introduce FIDO-enabled embedded fingerprint solution to PCs.
Mastercard is working with Stripe to expedite the payment process for American sellers on the latter's marketplaces using the instant payouts feature from Stripe.
Lloyds has launched biometric finger print authentication for mobile banking.
Barclaycard has partnered with Case Station, a company that makes personalised phone cases, to embed contactless technology in the latter's smartphone cases.