LONDON – Inside Secure SA, a fabless supplier of near field communication (NFC) chips has filed papers for an initial public offering of shares on the Euronext exchange in Paris, according to reports.
The company, which was founded as Inside Contactless in 1995 and has been venture capital backed, is looking to raise between 80 million and 100 million euro (about $115 million to $144 million). The move is being made on the prospects for NFC chips in mobile phones to enable them to be used as electronic wallets and as a means of paying for goods and services.
Inside Secure (Aix-en-Provence, France) has hired BNP Paribas and Jeffries to prepare for the IPO, according to Reuters report.
The company is said to be number two in the market for NFC chips behind NXP Semiconductor BV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), which recently boasted that it was the chip vendor behind Google's announcement of mobile payment services on the Android mobile phone platform.
However, Inside Secure is likely to be also profiting from interest in NFC chips. Inside Secure has a contract to supply Research in Motion with 20 million to 25 million NFC chips for BlackBerry's that will support near field communications, according to an NFC Times report. Inside Secure is trying to fight back against early design wins for NXP with Samsung and Nokia, the report said. This RIM order is part of a backlog worth $22 million at the end of 1Q11, according to another NFC Times report.
The company had sales revenue of $78.1 million in 2010 more than doubling sales of $36 million in 2009 and sales of $51.9 million in 2008, according to Boursier.com. However, the company made a net loss of $7.95 million in 2010, Boursier said.
Inside Secure has about 15 venture capital backers including funds representing the interests of Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Motorola. However, the company needs to move quickly as chip companies including Samsung, Qualcomm, Renesas and Broadcom are gearing up to start selling their own chips, according to observers.
NFC is no doubt an enabling technology for eWallet and more. There are more than just NFC to make eWallet an ultimate payment solution. The payment infrastructure, the willingness of banks and federal reserve (for US) are some of them. More importantly, the willingness of consumer to use eWallet instead of banknote. Everything comes down to how secure eWallet is.
If Inside Secure is the 2nd players in the market and has a net loss of $7.95M in 2010, I wonder how the other players do. What's the market share of NXP compared to Inside Secure's?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.