In a new post on its website, Seattle-based digital media software and services company RealNetworks released an outline regarding the steps it is taking to address the impact the COVID-19 outbreak is having on its business operations.
The post states the company’s plans to pivot its SAFR facial recognition platform to focus on public health and safety, saying that its engineers have been working on new healthcare-focused SAFR-based products that are expected to be released in mid-2020.
Earlier this month it was also reported that SAFR was already working toward making its facial recognition algorithm work better at identifying people wearing masks due to the growing reliance on them as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company also notes that it is taking measures to cut costs elsewhere — including by freezing salaries and modifying its executive bonus program that includes CEO Rob Glaser — in order to focus its resources on the SAFR initiative.
RealNetworks has also received $2.87 million in funding from the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which the post says will be used to keep staff members paid at their current salaries while also enabling them to bring several staff back from furlough.
“The extraordinary circumstances in which we are all now living have brought significant challenges to RealNetworks, and we are grateful that the CARES Act is helping businesses like Real weather this storm with our workforces largely intact,” said Glaser. “Combined with other measures, the additional funds from the PPP loan will ensure that our employees are able to continue supporting our customers and enhancing our digital products and services, both to serve current customers and to address newly important societal needs,” he added.
The post also reported that the company received notice from The Nasdaq Stock Market informing it that it no longer meets the minimum bid price requirement and has until December 28th to regain compliance; it expects to take action in the coming months to do so well before the stated deadline.
Finally, RealNetworks reports that it will be providing further information on the impacts of COVID-19 on its other businesses during its earnings call on May 6th. It did reaffirm, however, that its Q1 2020 results met or exceeded the guidance provided by the company on February 5th, 2020.
April 30, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis