FST Biometrics to continue growth with $15m investment

U.S. to remain primary market for biometrics access control solution
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

RISHON LEZION, Israel—FST Biometrics will use a recent $15 million infusion from GMF Capital to continue to expand in the United States and into other new enterprise markets, according to CMO Arie Melamed.

FST soon will announce new users of its biometrics' In Motion Identification (IMID) access solution, a fusion of facial recognition and behavioral analytics that provides a high level of accuracy, Melamed told Security Systems News. New users will include, for example, club and sports venues and educational institutions, along with retailers.

“The U.S. will continue to be our main market—the vast majority with more than 50 percent of our revenue—but we’re looking at other territories,” he said, including Asia Pacific and Latin America.  

FST’s software solution allows authorized people to access a high-rise residential complex, such as Knickerbocker Village in Manhattan with 6,000 residents, “just by being themselves,” Melamed said. Residents don’t have to carry keys or cards—“Don’t look at what I have, look at who I am,” he said.

The system is not designed to look “for bad people in the crowd,” it just wants to let the appropriate people in without any hassles, he said.

“I can give you my [access control] card, but I cannot give you my face,” he said. 

The access solution is completely voluntary. “You have to sign up, you have to positively say you want to be part of the system,” he said.

“We have a reasonable database and good statistics,” Melamed said, stressing the system’s accuracy.

That data can also be used to allow users to better serve their customers by tracking their buying habits, he said.

As part of the $15 million deal from GMF Capital, the investment vehicle controlled and led by global investor, Gary Fegel, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barrak was appointed as GMF’s representative on the FST Biometrics board.

“I think the fact that GMF and Gary decided to invest in us proves the confidence in our technology. They looked at many companies and found us to be the best of the best. We’re really happy,” Melamed said.