Growthgate Acquires Parts of leading Iris Biometric Company
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 10, 2010: Growthgate, the GCC-based specialist buyout firm, announced that it has reached a final agreement to acquire 30% of IrisGuard, a world leader in iris recognition technologies (IRT). The company offers IRT solutions to national security organizations, law enforcement agencies, polling, electoral processors, and banking institutions around the world. In 2009, IrisGuard was presented with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Award warranted by the company’s focus on R&D, design and manufacture of exceptional IRT products. Strong technological and product innovation have successfully positioned IrisGuard as a leading specialist in IRT solutions worldwide. The company manufactures the world’s most accurate iris recognition camera systems, the IrisGuard IG-H100® and IG-AD100®, in addition to a portfolio of 4 additional iris imagers under development. IrisGuard launched the world’s first, most searched, and largest iris recognition solution for Homeland Security in the UAE in 2001. The UAE currently deploys over 250 iris imagers in every Land, Sea and Air Ports-of-Entry in the country. IrisGuard also made history in 2008, becoming the first to deploy real-time card-free (no Pin or Card) iris recognition solutions for banks via ATMs. Cairo Amman Bank was the first bank to deploy this pristine solution with over 400 iris imagers deployed in Jordan and Palestine. 2010 has witnessed the company’s full entry into the US market via the provision of IRT-enabled systems and cameras to fifty US Law Enforcement agencies deployed throughout the USA, in addition to US System- Integrators, banks and financial institutions. IrisGuard has been profitable since inception in 2000. IRT in particular has entered a very exciting growth period and IrisGuard expects to generate revenues in excess of $10 million and to realize an EBITDA in excess of 30% in 2010, consistently with its historical track record. Both Growthgate and IrisGuard being privately held, the value of the transaction was not disclosed. IrisGuard has offices in Jordan, the UK, Switzerland and UAE.
Mr. Imad Malhas, co-founder and CEO of IrisGuard stated ”We are extremely pleased with Growthgate’s investment which is a tribute to IrisGuard’s pioneering technological work and its commercial success”. Iris technology has the smallest outlier population (measurement error: persons who cannot use or enroll in the system) of all biometric technologies. Because of its speed of comparison, iris recognition is the only biometric technology well suited for one-to-many (1:N authentication) personal identification. A single enrollment can last a lifetime. “We view this transaction as a firm commitment by an astute partner who is set on maximizing value and accelerating performance through intensive focus on R&D for next generation products and expanding services worldwide.” Mr. Malhas added.
Growthgate -managed by Keystone – follows a ‘buy and build’ investment strategy that partners with the management of growth-orientated businesses led by visionary and pioneering entrepreneurs, and together steering their courses into becoming enduring, large-scale organizations. This deal marks the sixth direct equity investment by Growthgate since its capitalization in mid 2007, and the first in the technology sector. Growthgate’s current portfolio comprises: Able Logistics Group, Gama Aviation Holding, Roots Group;