Zwipe, which launched the world’s first fingerprint authenticated payment card on 17 October last year, today announced that it has raised $5 million in equity from Photon Future Ltd.
Photon Future is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kuang-Chi Group, which invests in disruptive innovations worldwide.
The series B investment enables Zwipe to accelerate the commercialization of its biometric authentication technology and to finance further research and development activities.
Kuang-Chi is a high-tech Chinese holding group which has established a series of all-important research and innovation platforms of science and technologies, which have been applied in diversified business areas including aerospace, near space exploration, sophisticated structure and equipment, internet banking as well as in the security industry. Two of the group’s subsidiaries are listed companies that invest in cutting-edge technology concepts including development and initial commercialization phases.
“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. “We continue to be overwhelmed by the response from the market, validating our original intention of filling the gap between security and ease of use. The invested capital and commercial cooperation with Kaung-Chi is a critical factor to enable us to meet the market demand.”
With fraud and identity theft rapidly growing on a global scale, it is widely expected in the security industry that a “digital biometric handshake” will replace PINs, passwords and signatures on all platforms. Zwipe’s unique capture and match-on-card technology, along with the patented energy harvesting technology, provides a solution for privacy concerns as well as a seamless integration with existing infrastructures.
The Zwipe payment card, the world’s first fingerprint-activated contactless payment card, combines the security of biometric authentication with the speed and convenience of contactless payment in a thin, ISO format card.
With this investment, Kuang-Chi becomes Zwipe’s largest shareholder with a 20% 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. While the Zwipe investment falls under the photonic access control and payment solutions area, Kuang-Chi also invests in other ground breaking technology areas such as meta RF satellite antenna technologies, super WIFI solutions, near space technology and near space tourism.
“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,” said Dr. Liu Ruopeng, founder of Kuang-Chi. “Zwipe is at the forefront of the emerging field of biometric identification and we are excited about the company’s impressive technology and opportunities.”
Dr. Liu, a Ph.D. in electrical and computer science from Duke University, USA and Huang Weizi, a member of the Kuang-Chi founding team with an M.S. also from Duke University will join the board of directors of Zwipe with immediate effect.
The new investment brings the total amount raised by Zwipe since its inception in 2009 to $11 million.