Norwegian biometric payment card startup Zwipe has received $14 million to add to an earlier Series B funding. Notably, the new funding was raised via an offering of 6 million new shares, from around 2,300 investors. Also, the funds were raised ahead of a planned listing of the company on Merkur Market, Oslo Bors.
Further, Zwipe says the share offer was substantially over-subscribed, and the startup expects trading to commence on or around Jan. 28. The pre-money valuation of the company is stated as NOK 189 million.
Upon receiving the new funding, Zwipe CEO Andre Løvestam said: “Zwipe is at the forefront of a global shift towards more secure and convenient contactless payments and the market is primed for growth. We are confident that our industry-leading technology and partnerships will secure a strong market position both in the short and long-term. Thanks to the new funding received, we can intensify our efforts to support our customers and partners in ‘making convenience secure’.”
Zwipe, founded in 2009, works towards commercialising a technology that embeds a fingerprint reader in payment plastic for an added layer of security. While working with MasterCard in 2014, it developed a credit card with an embedded fingerprint reader; seemingly taking a leaf out of Apple’s approach with Touch ID.
Talking about the startup, one of its spokespersons stated, “Our technology is currently deployed in pilot programs in Italy, with Intesa Sanpaolo Bank and with 10 different banks across the Middle East,” adding, “We have active partnerships globally. In APAC, specifically China and the Philippines, we expect to launch further trials in the near term. In Europe we have piloted with the Bank of Cyprus and expect to launch several more trials in Europe in the first half of 2019.”
Narrating the future plans, the spokesperson said, “We are not commercially rolled out yet, we expect that to happen in the second half of this year, starting first in Europe and potentially in the Middle East.” He also stated that the funding will be used to prepare the startup for a commercial rollout of a biometric payment card solution in the second half of 2019. Moreover, the spokesperson shared, “It’s also eyeing additional form factors such as wearables down the line, pencilling in 2020 for expanding into other devices and verticals. Although it has yet to push its tech past the pilot stage with payment cards.”
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