The Face Recognition Company (“FRC”) was incorporated in January 2016 with the objective of developing an accurate and cost-effective face recognition solution for the identification of a wide range of ‘persons of interest’, equally suitable for crime and security uses, and/or for commercial applications such as demographic marketing. A target accuracy criterion of 90+% was set to ensure suitability within multiple markets including retail, public safety, transport, casinos, sporting & music venues, hotels and more.
The FRC team has a combined 100+ years’ experience in face recognition technical development, including two Professors from a world-renowned U.K. University, along with a proven commercial team with extensive experience in taking new products to market.
FRC already has Intellectual Property (IP) in the form of ‘Specific Wavelength Illumination’. This technology ensures consistent imaging capability irrespective of ambient lighting conditions, a significant factor for face recognition systems operating without fully controlled lighting. FRC plans to implement this capability in its next-generation face recognition system, and also make it commercially available for other applications where it has value, such as for general CCTV. The company recently wrote to Apple Inc regarding FRC’s patented Illuminator IP, and its very close link to their Apple X ‘True Depth’ camera. Apple has formally responded and is considering the offer of licencing FRC’s IP.
In 2016, FRC successfully achieved its first-round funding target of £250,000 at a £1m company pre money valuation. Funding was used to develop the core functional blocks of code to prove face recognition and matching capability and de-risk further development. All milestones were achieved, and performance of the completed software exceeded the target, achieving over 95% accuracy on the standardised data. The next stage was to raise £500,000 on a £3m pre money valuation, which was completed in early 2018, and these funds were in part, used to build the solution architecture and integrate the Back-end blocks of software together.
The company further developed the Application Programming Interface (API) to connect the back-end with the User Interface (UI) and completed the development of the UI for both Mobile & Server control as well as refining the camera hardware. This UI piece has been developed by an award-winning UI/UX mobile application development company.
The first pre-release pilot projects are now possible at this point within friendly ‘early adopter’ customer sites, one being a major online retailer’s largest U.K. distribution centre. A number of other large retailers are also waiting to trial this product. The FRC product will be aggressively priced, between £6,000-£9,000 per 5-camera system, making it affordable for the majority of businesses for market maximisation. Beyond the initial product sale, there will also be three valuable and proven recurring revenue streams that will be taken up by each client.
In addition to direct client relationships, the FRC go-to-market strategy incorporates working through large partners/integrators/approved Installers, eight of which are primed ready to promote and install FRC’s product to their own customer base. These partners have national clients waiting to also trial this product including a large U.K. supermarket. This commercial structure will be replicated internationally.
The current competition is either too expensive, not accurate enough or both, and therefore the market remains wide open for an affordable, accurate, scalable & robust face recognition solution.
FRC filed for two Patents in June last year, and the unique camera unit designs & configurations are currently “Patented Pending”. The first invention (1) is entitled ‘Recognition of 3D Objects’ (U.K. Patent Application no. 1809855.8). The second invention (2) is entitled ‘Method of and System for Recognising a Human Face’ (U.K. Patent Application no. 1809857.4).
The FRC team has an agreed exit strategy in place, and where applicable, FRC is set-up for EIS tax relief, with Advanced Assurance granted in August 2016.