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Hancom announces strategic investment in Spanish AI biometric company FacePhi

  • Hancom acquires exclusive business rights to FacePhi in APAC region
  • Hancom to establish bridgehead for entering the overseas AI market by selling under Hancom brand (white labeling)
  • FacePhi holds facial recognition technology with world-class security

BARCELONA and SEOUL, South Korea, March 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Hancom (CEO Seong-jun Byun and Yeon-soo Kim) plans to make a strategic investment in FacePhi, a Spanish artificial intelligence (AI) biometric company.

Hancom's CEO Yeon-soo Kim (L) & FacePhi's CEO Javier Mira (R) at the Invest Signing Ceremony in Barcelona, Spain
Hancom’s CEO Yeon-soo Kim (L) & FacePhi’s CEO Javier Mira (R) at the Invest Signing Ceremony in Barcelona, Spain

Hancom announced on the 25th that it has signed an investment agreement in Barcelona, Spain, with Hancom’s CEO Yeon-soo Kim and FacePhi’s CEO Javier Mira in attendance. This investment agreement will allow Hancom to make equity investments in FacePhi and secure exclusive business rights to FacePhi in the APAC region.

Listed simultaneously on the Spanish and French stock exchanges, FacePhi holds various AI-based biometric technologies such as face, fingerprint, pupil, and voice recognition technologies required for biometric authentication. The company operates mainly in Europe and Latin America. Recognized for its excellent technology at home and abroad, it has secured a large number of financial companies as customers in Korea.

In particular, with regard to anti-spoofing (fake identification) functionality, which is the most important feature in facial recognition technology, FacePhi possesses technology using a passive method (authenticating identity with a single frontal facial image), which is emerging as a next-generation technology, rather than the widely used active method (requiring the person to move his or her face to prove identity). In 2022, FacePhi acquired i-Beta Level 2 certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which guarantees the anti-spoofing performance of facial recognition technology. The fact that there are only nine passive i-Beta Level 2 companies in the world demonstrates that FacePhi’s technology is world-class.

This investment will make Hancom the second largest shareholder of FacePhi, and the company will use it as a bridgehead to strengthen its position in the global AI market through white labeling by selling FacePhi’s solutions under the Hancom brand in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Hancom expects this contract to have a synergistic effect and plans to discover new and improved services and businesses by combining FacePhi’s multi-recognition biometric technology with Hancom’s AI, HancomWITH’s security technology, Clipsoft’s reporting tool, and Hancom CareLink’s healthcare service.

“Through this investment, we will be able to expand Hancom’s AI business area and we expect to expand overseas sales by supplying Hancom-branded FacePhi solutions to the entire Asia-Pacific region in the future,” said Yeon-soo Kim, CEO of Hancom. “We will continue to lead the AI market by actively promoting collaboration with, investment in, and acquisition of competent AI businesses.”

Meanwhile, the global digital authentication solution market is growing at an average annual growth rate of 12%, and as security levels are strengthened, there is a trend of shifting from the traditional fingerprint recognition-centered biometric technology to facial recognition. In order to respond to technological developments such as deepfakes, the adoption of passive methods to prevent forgery is expected to increase.

 

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