Believing in Biometrics

Jan. 12, 2007

Robert LaPenta believes in biometrics. After all, you don't put your money where your mouth is if you don't believe. This is the guy who just today has offered $1.05 per share for each share of ComnetiX, a Canadian biometrics company that does fingerprint recognition, especially ones for police departments.

Of course, LaPenta (via his biometrics investment arm L-1) isn't the only one going after ComnetiX. BIO-key, another fingerprint recognition player is also making a thirsty offer for the shares of Comnetix.

So, who are they after? Well, Comnetix has been around for quite sometime. I dug up some earlier info on this company and it seems that back in the summer of 2004, for every 2 dollars they brought in, 3 dollars went out the door. This was a company that had previously operated with profits. Then in the summer of 2005, the company jumped on the chance to acquire Paragon Total Solutions, a biometrics firm based out of a small town near Atlanta, Ga. That acquisition further placed ComnetiX in the public safety/law enforcement space.

So now, with L-1's offer topping a previous offer by BIO-key, and with the ComnetiX B.o.D. telling its shareholders that this is a good thing, it looks like the L-1/ComnetiX deal is about to be served. And that will further grow L-1, which has been buying up the biometrics space with a little bit of a splash.

LaPenta is waiting for, of course, that critical instance when biometrics technology starts to take off like personal computers. It took a long time, admittedly, before PCs were commonplace in U.S. homes, but I'm not sure we're that far away from it happening with biometrics. And that, I think, is what makes LaPenta -- who is first and foremost a savvy investor -- a true believer.


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