Atlanta-based Trust Stamp, a prime example of a local tech startup going global almost from inception, plans to go public via a direct listing on the Euronext Growth market in Dublin in September.
The direct listing option on Euronext, which has about 1,500 listed companies representing $3.6 trillion in market capitalization, allows issuers to sell shares to the public without any utilizing any underwriters or issuing new shares.
Executives have said the company, a provider of identity authentication solutions, chose the route to facilitate liquidity for business operations — and because they didn’t want to raise more outside capital at the current round valuation.
The listing comes after investments from Mastercard, Second Century Ventures and FSH Capital, as well as a Series A round on the SeedInvest platform that has raised more than $3 million out of a planned $6.9 million round at a $25 million pre-money valuation.
“Although we may in the future seek a dual listing in North America, we are confident that admitting our shares to trading on Euronext Growth can support our future liquidity and requirement for capital to scale our business,” CEO Gareth Genner said in a news release.
Trust Stamp has said it posted $2.1 million in revenue in 2019 and is projecting $7.4 million this year and rapid growth to $57.4 million by 2025.
Trust Stamp, which combines biometric and other identifying data to provide an encrypted identity “hash” to banks and card issuers, is seeking a valuation of €29 million on Euronext and plans to list at €7 per share, according to the Irish Independent newspaper, which broke the story.
Based at the Advanced Technology Development Center, Trust Stamp will remain headquartered in Atlanta, which is promoting itself globally as a hub for electronic payment transactions.
Still, the company’s operations and ambitions are already well distributed around the world. Only eight employees, including co-founder and president Andrew Gowasack, are based here, while much of the rest of the 47 team members are spread across seven countries, including the U.K., the Philippines and Poland.
Clients span three continents, said Mr. Genner, adding in an ATDC release that the incubator’s assistant director, Jane McCracken, had encouraged the company to seek capital sources globally.
Not that it needed the inspiration: Mastercard and Trust Stamp introduced their first secure authentication network in Johannesburg, South Africa. Trust Stamp also ran through the Plug and Play Tech Center accelerator in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Two cybersecurity experts from the United Kingdom just joined the firm’s advisory board.
The company will soon open an innovation center in the Mediterranean island of Malta, supported by a €200,000 grant plus €800,000 provided as a low-interest loan from the Maltese government to fund salaries that is to be repaid from 10 percent of the subsidiary’s profits. Malta, an EU member, will be the base for Trust Stamp’s public-benefit subsidiary, AiiD, which will provide technology to NGOs and governments across Africa, presumably to aid financial and societal inclusion efforts, including bringing more women into the tech field.
“Malta has a long-term commitment to working with a number of African governments, and there are tremendous opportunities for us to partner with both the Malta government and other Maltese enterprises,” Mr. Genner said in the release.
Trust Stamp also aims to eventually put research and development operations in Ireland and the Netherlands to complement an AI center in Poland and an R&D operation in Cheltenham, England.
Trust Stamp initially emerged as a way to ensure that scammers couldn’t game banks’ facial recognition systems, but its applications have multiplied to industries as diverse as real estate, insurance and law enforcement. The U.S. and Mexico have used Trust Stamp technology to identify victims of human trafficking. Its most recent creation is Safe14, which enables governments and global health outfits to reference voluntarily provided location information to notify citizens of potential COVID-19 exposure without revealing personal data.
The global push makes sense based on Trust Stamp’s potential utility in the developing world, where lack of traditional identity documents can keep people locked out of the financial system or formal economy.
Mr. Genner said in a SeedInvest interview that he also believes that identity systems will be segmented by country in the post-pandemic world. That provides an opportunity for Trust Stamp, he said.
“The world has seen a rush to ‘temporarily’ implement mass surveillance systems that track a broad umbrella of personal information under the cover of COVID-19 containment. While global health is the absolute priority in these extraordinary times, we cannot let the ‘new normal’ become blind compliance with identity systems that disregard individual security and civil liberties.”
Trust Stamp’s neural networks convert facial scans or a combination of biometric data, into an “Evergreen Hash” or EgHash — a set of numbers and letters that cannot be reverse engineered and does not contain stored images.
Learn more at truststamp.ai.