BIO-key has posted the results for the fourth quarter and for the 2021 fiscal year as a whole, illustrating the broad, overarching success of its investment in the PortalGuard Single Sign-On platform acquired by the company the year before.
Revenues for FY’21 were up 80 percent year-over-year, rising from $2.8 million in 2020 to $5.1 million in fiscal 2021. And while operating expenses were up from $7.2 million in 2020 to $8.4 million last year, due to investments in R&D, hiring, and new PortalGuard expenses, BIO-key reduced its operating loss from $5.2 million in 2020 to $4.9 million last year.
In a statement, BIO-key explained that its sharp revenue increase was “driven primarily” by deployments of PortalGuard. The company obtained the SSO solution through its acquisition of PistolStar in June of 2020, and went on to officially announce the launch of the cloud-based PortalGuard Identity-as-a-Service platform in November of that year. New passwordless authentication features were added in a platform upgrade in February of 2021.
“We are achieving solid new customer engagement,” explained BIO-key CEO Michael DePasquale, “particularly in higher education, enterprise and government verticals that are very receptive to PortalGuard’s support for sixteen multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods, including BIO-key’s advanced biometric solutions.”
Existing customers have also been enthusiastic about the solution. DePasquale explained that in the first year of deployment, BIO-key had migrated about seven percent of existing customers to PortalGuard IDaaS, which increased average annual recurring revenue by about 300 percent.
Beyond PortalGuard, DePasquale highlighted successes in the forms of new product launches – including the MobilePOS Pro handheld, cryptographic FIDO2 security keys, and the new EcoID II Compact USB fingerprint reader – and the resumption of large-scale identity projects in Africa, which collectively “represent a large opportunity in terms of revenue and profits for our company,” he said.
All that having been said, BIO-key’s results for Q4 in particular showed lower revenues ($935K compared to $1.1 million in Q4 of 2020) and an 18 percent increase in expenses. Nevertheless, DePasquale says the company’s management are “very optimistic” about growth in 2022, and BIO-key has issued a full-year revenue guidance in the range of $10-13 million, which would represent potential year-over-year growth in excess of 100 percent – and the possibility of achieving break-even operations.
Mar. 29, 2022 – by Alex Perala