Norwegian biometric startup Zwipe raises $14 million

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The fingerprint biometric firm Zwipe raised approximately US$ 14 million (Norwegian Krone 120 million) in its latest Series B funding round.

Oslo, Norway-based Zwipe said that the latest fundraising round was designed to provide the company with sufficient capital for growth prior to its IPO on the Merkur Market of the Oslo Bors (the new marketplace on Norway’s stock exchange). The company sold 4.5 million shares valued at US$ 10.5 million to institutional and professional investors and sold US$ 3.5 million shares to the general public in Norway and Sweden.

“The capital raise and subsequent admission to trading at Merkur Market are important milestones for Zwipe, as the company seeks to capitalize on its strong position in the biometric payment marketplace and as the payment industry moves towards bringing biometric payment cards to consumers,” stated Jörgen Lantto, Zwipe's chairman, in the press release.

According to Crunchbase, a website that tracks investments in private tech startups, Zwipe has raised over US$ 25 million in four funding rounds since it began fundraising in 2013. One of the first investors in Zwipe was the government of Norway which invested US$1 million into the company in 2013.

Last August, Zwipe partnered with Visa and Gemalto to supply Lebanon-based financial technology company areeba with a contactless biometric card for introduction to the Middle East. The biometric card delivered in the pilot allows cardholders to authorize transactions by using its built-in fingerprint scanner rather than entering a PIN. Also, the card is powered from the POS terminal, eliminating the need for a battery.

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