Recognition Source gains funding

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003

ST. CHARLES, Ill. - Though the funding market may be a challenge to some companies, for Recognition Source that does not appear to be the case.

The company, with the unique wireless access control product it launched two years ago, recently received a $4.5 million cash infusion from investors to expand sales and marketing, including the manufacturing of its product.

“It’s going to allow us the time we need to get in front of everybody and get them comfortable with this new paradigm shift,” said Fred Conforti, president of Recognition Source.

“What we found is that people love the concept, but are afraid to try it.”

That concept is Recognition Source’s Wyreless Access, a component which integrates the entire system within the door lock, eliminating all the wiring needed around the door and 90 percent of the cost to install such a system. Today, Conforti estimates one million modulated integrated reader locks are installed each year. In 10 years, he expects half of that market will be using a wireless solution.

Now with cash in hand, Conforti plans to expand the company’s sales and marketing team. Already Recognition Source has hired two people in sales - Lester LaPierre, who formerly worked for Indala, has joined the company as its OEM sales manager, while Gordon Sibbald comes onboard as Northeast regional sales manager. Sibbald previously worked for SimplexGrinnell.

Plans still call for an additional person to be added in the marketing department, with more salespeople scheduled to join the company in about a year.

Conforti said the company now has the money for manufacturing upgrades, such as adding more equipment to increase capacity and meet demand.

This recent round of funding marks the second for the company.

Three years ago, $7.5 million in funding from three investors enabled the company to get off the ground. The company had been an engineering project under the Pittway Group of companies, but was spun off as a new and separate company at the urging of Conforti.

Two of the lead investors were Pringle Enterprises and JFM Enterprises, both Illinois-based private investment funds. Two other private investors also participated.