Blue Star Capital Plc (LON:BLU) has today announced that one of its investee companies Sthaler Limited has successfully raised GBP2 million at a pre-new money valuation of GBP30 million. This represents a significant uplift to the value attributed to Sthaler of GBP23million at its previous fundraise of GBP3 million in July 2017.
Blue Star invested GBP50,000 into Sthaler in June 2015 as part of a total raise by Sthaler of GBP450,000 with a post money valuation at that time of GBP3.4 million. This latest round of investment in Sthaler values the Company’s stake of 0.9 per cent. at GBP300,000.
Sthaler is an early stage identity and payments technology business which enables a consumer to identify themselves and pay using just their finger at retail points of sale. Sthaler jointly developed Fingopay in conjunction with Hitachi, using VeinID technology. Infrared light maps the unique vein pattern in a customer’s finger. This biometric signature is matched to a template held in the cloud and verifies the payment in seconds. It is considered more secure than other biometrics such as fingerprint.
Over the last 18 months, Sthaler has been piloting Fingopay. Now thousands of students at Copenhagen Business School can use Fingopay in their campus canteen. This world first at a self-service kiosk is an excellent example of how the technology can be used. Sthaler worked with Denmark’s national debit card operators Nets / Dankort to deliver the technology.
Nets / Dankort are also working with Sthaler to look beyond mobile to biometrics as the future of payment. The technology is being showcased to Scandinavian banks and businesses, with a view to wider adoption across the region.
Sthaler’s Copenhagen launch follows a successful retail first at Brunel University, London. Students can use Fingopay to buy groceries at the Costcutter convenience store, on campus. Sthaler installed Fingopay readers at points of sale and helped Brunel move towards the goal of a cashless campus. Transactions are verified by Worldpay so customers can arrive in store without wallet or phone, and pay securely using only their finger. The Brunel launch gained worldwide attention. Sthaler featured prominently on Fox Business, CNBC and ITN, with scores of articles in leading national newspapers.
Sthaler’s pioneering work with a major high street retailer proves the value of Fingopay in a new sector and lays the groundwork for a nationwide rollout. It significantly broadened the appeal of Fingopay by moving it from hospitality into the retail space.
The hospitality sector remains a strong vertical for Sthaler’s development of Fingopay. Sthaler has already proved its value by showing it in action in a live bar environment. The London bar and music venue Proud Camden introduced Fingopay to its customers, by allowing Sthaler to introduce fast lanes for Fingopay users, instant e-receipts and an in-built loyalty scheme to reward repeat customers.
Sthaler has new launches in the pipeline scheduled for later in 2018.
Tony Fabrizi CEO of Blue Star Capital Plc commented: “We are pleased to see Sthaler is continuing to attract investment as it begins to successfully roll out its offering in the retail and hospitality sectors. We look forward to Sthaler announcing further customers over the coming months.”