Marcel Boekhoorn brings company to the Toronto Stock Exchange
Tjabel Daling, 17 September 2014
Marcel Boekhoorn, owner of High Tech Campus Eindhoven, has taken his technology company VoiceTrust to the Toronto Stock Exchange. Boekhoorn’s Investment company Ramphastos raised 15 million Canadian dollars (€10.5 million) to help stimulate further growth of the VoiceTrust, which is specialized in voice authentication.
VoiceTrust’s listing is the result of what is called a reverse takeover, explains Corné Melissen, partner at Ramphastos. In the transaction, Boekhoorn’s investment company makes use of investment vehicle Delrand, a Canadian entity with listings on the Toronto and Johannesburg stock exchanges and little current business activity. Delrand issued new shares and purchased all of VoiceTrust’s shares. Simultaneously, Delrand secured funding from institutional and private investors, the proceeds of which will be used to fuel the next phase of VoiceTrust’s growth.
Investor Boekhoorn bought the German VoiceTrust as a start-up in 2007 for € 16.5 million. The company is specialized in biometric voice authentication. A user phones a number which connnect him or her to a computer which analyses his or her voice by comparing it to previously registered voice data. Once the caller has been positively authenticated, he or she is given access to a computer network. This identification method is more reliable than fingerprint identification according to the company.
Ramphastos has invested millions in VoiceTrust since its acquisition, according to Melissen. The company acquired Canadian biometrics specialist in 2012. This resulted in an intensive relationship with the Canadian research institute CRIM, the Canadian equivalent of TNO in the Netherlands. The Canadian company is now fully integrated into VoiceTrust, that employs 45 people but generate a modest profit of $2 million in 2014. Melissen: We operate in a small market with extremely large growth potential. Security issues are increasing and the need to identify people quickly is growing fast.”
VoiceTrust’s technology is also used for password resetting and mobile payments. Applications are infinite, according to Melissen. VoiceTrust’s software is currently used by large insurance companies and pension funds but also large logistics service providers and technology companies. The assignments are often relatively modest in scope. VoiceTrust hopes to boost its turnover significantly with the new capital injection.
This is a translation of the Dutch-language original in Het Financieele Dagblad, 17 September 2014. © Het Financieele Dagblad.