GrowthGate Acquires 30 Percent Stake in Biometric Provider IrisGuard

GrowthGate, a Gulf Cooperation Council-based specialist buyout firm, announced it reached a final agreement to acquire 30 percent of IrisGuard, a provider of 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 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 positioned IrisGuard as a specialist in IRT solutions worldwide.

IrisGuard made history in 2008, becoming the first to deploy real-time card-free iris recognition solutions for banks via ATMs. Cairo Amman Bank was the first bank to deploy this solution, with more than 400 iris imagers deployed in Jordan and Palestine.

The year 2010 has witnessed the company's full entry into the US market through the provision of IRT-enabled systems and cameras to 50 US law enforcement agencies deployed throughout the U.S., in addition to system integrators, banks and financial institutions.

IrisGuard has been profitable since its inception in 2000. IRT in particular has entered a growth period and IrisGuard expects to generate revenues in excess of US$10 million and to realize 30 percent growth in 2010, consistent with its historical track record. Both GrowthGate and IrisGuard are privately held, so the value of the transaction was not disclosed.

IrisGuard has offices in Jordan, the U.K., Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

"We are pleased with GrowthGate's investment which is a tribute to IrisGuard's pioneering technological work and its commercial success," said Imad Malhas, cofounder and CEO of IrisGuard. Iris technology has the smallest outlier population of all biometric technologies. Because of its speed of comparison, iris recognition is the only biometric technology 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," Malhas said.

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