New biometrics investment firm ID'd

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Thursday, June 9, 2005

STAMFORD, Conn.--Robert LaPenta, co-founder of defense contractor and Lockheed Martin spin-out L-3 Communications, formed a new biometrics investment firm that will seek to solidify the now fragmented market.
L-1 Investment Partners' mission is to invest in existing public or private companies in all stages of development, either pre-revenue companies or those already selling in the marketplace. LaPenta seeks to attain a controlling stake or the entire entity through his investments. Once acquired, L-1 will provide follow-up financing and management assistance.
"We think it's an exciting time to be in this business," said LaPenta. "You can compare it to defense 20 years ago--there were many companies that didn't have the money or the management to grow."
LaPenta founded L-1 in May, and he contributed his own money to start the firm and has discussed raising additional capital with investment banks and money managers. He declined to disclose how much of his own money he has committed to the venture and how much external financing he would accept.
In its first few months of business, the firm is already evaluating its first investment. LaPenta would not discuss the deal.
Biometrics is a subset of the security industry that uses both software and hardware to confirm an individual's identity. Such products scan a person's iris, fingerprints or facial features to compare to an existing profile in a database.

For more on this story, see the July issue of Security Systems News.