Bioscrypt snatches up A4Vision in stock swap

Published 24 January 2007

Deal brings together Bioscrypt’s strength in fingerprint algorithims with A4Visions’s 3D facial recognition technology; company will now offer off-the-shelf finished readers for both finger and 3D face biometrics; investors add another $8 million to the venture

Robert Lapenta’s L-1 is not the only biometrics company hungry for others these days. Toronto-based Bioscrypt, known for providing algorithims for fingerprint recognition systems, has pangs of its own — pangs that no doubt will be stated by its announcement this week that it would acquire A4Vision. A4Vision, as we have reported in the past, is a leader in the industry-wide transition from 2D to 3D facial recognition technology (it is used by DHS’s Federal Protective Service and the Swiss bank Pictet & Cie, among others). As recently as 2005, A4Vision’s Access 3D Face Reader earned “Best of Show” and “Best Biometric Product” at the ISC West tradeshow.

The acquisition, which is expected to be completed in March, is intended to bring Bioscrypt further into the biometric access control marketplace — especially when marketed alongside Bioscrypt’s VeriSoft identity and access program. Indeed, together the new company will be the first to offer off-the-shelf finished readers for both finger and 3D face biometrics for use in physical access control. According to Bioscrypt Chairman Pierre Donaldson, the purchase will make the combined Bioscrypt/A4Vision “the de facto standard for biometric access control.”

The purchase is an all-stock deal, with A4 stockholders earning a total of some 9 million common shares and warrants in Bioscrypt, and stock warrants that would allow the purchase of up to 4.6 million more common shares of Bioscrypt. The acquisition is also linked with a major investment in the newly merged company, with investors adding somewhere between $6 million and $8 million in U.S. funds.

(A4 investors include: EuroQube SA, In-Q-Tel, Logitech, Menlo Ventures, Motorola Ventures, NTT Leasing Co. Ltd., TAKO Ventures, and Wedge International.) As part of the merger, A4 CEO Grant Evans and Menlo Ventures general partner Douglas Carlisle will join Bioscrypt’s board of directors.

-read more in this company news release