Introducing Zwipe, an Oslo startup enabling integration of fingerprint authentication on contactless cards. Zwipe sits alongside industry colleagues and fellow Norwegians Signicat, Encap, and Ensafer, providing security technology for the digital economy of the future.

Zwipe’s primary feature – the fingerprint scanning and matching functionality – works in less than 1 second, and its cards are ISO 14443 compatible, meaning it works with existing contactless readers. Fingerprints are saved on the card itself not on an external database.

Zwipe were one of the 11 companies involved in the third TINC program, where 11 Norwegian startups set up for a month in Innovation House – Norway’s very own corner of Silicon Valley.

Zwipe had already been heavily backed by Innovation Norway, Oslo Innovation Centre, and the Research Council of Norway, and travelled to the US fresh from a series-A funding round that raised NOK 15m (€2m).

They certainly made the most of their month, securing a global OEM distribution agreement and renting an office in Palo Alto.

I spoke briefly with founder and CEO Kim Kristian Humborstad about their progress:

“We have over the last year achieved great traction in the American market, and it was important for us to spend time in the Bay Area to understand the current situation and trends. While Personal ID protection is a concern globally, it was important to note that standards and practices are different in the U.S. as compared to Europe and the Nordic countries.”

“This is one of the reasons we are very happy to be working with Innovation House in Silicon Valley. Throughout TINC, they have been instrumental in helping to guide and mentor us not only on industry and technology issues, but also on regional and global issues such as regulation and legislation. All of this support and advice no doubt helped us in signing the global OEM distribution agreement – it’s made all the miles travelled worthwhile.”

Humborstad seems to be doing everything right in his role as CEO, building a board and advisory team of industry veterans from fields such as access control, RFID technology, and international law. The latest appointment is Clas Thelin, the Managing Partner in Candeo Group LLC and owner and President of Rocky Mountain Metals, Inc, who joins as Chairman of the Board.

A former IT Project Manager, David Nikel now works as a freelance writer in Norway. He helps Norwegian companies communicate in English and reports on the entrepreneurial scene for ArcticStartup.

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