Athlone Global Security Invests in Persay

NEW YORK - Athlone Global Security, a private equity group that invests in Israeli homeland security companies and helps them establish new markets for their products in the U.S. and Europe, acquired a minority interest with options to make additional investments in Persay, a provider of biometric speaker verification technology, based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Persay's voice authentification technology, VocalPassword verifies a speaker's identity using a pass phrase.

Gordon Hawke, president and CEO of Athlone Global Security, said, "Persay's VocalPassword adds a second layer of security to a variety of telephone and online transactions as well as the protection of proprietary information. A wide range of world-class companies impressed with its accuracy and ease of use are already using VocalPassword."

BT, Morgan Stanley, Telstra and Leumi Bank are among the companies in the financial, telecom and security industries currently using VocalPassword to prove identity of telephone callers. Moreover, it is available as an add-on to Microsoft Speech Server 2004 R2 and the next version of Speech Server, which was recently renamed Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Speech Platform Services.

Persay is expected to have had revenue of about $1 million in 2006. It projects revenue of $3 million in 2007. Athlone Global Security has acquired a 17 percent interest in the company and it has an option to buy up to 30 percent. This investment is Athlone's fifth portfolio acquisition.

Athlone plans to assemble a portfolio of about 25-to-30 investments in homeland security technologies that are ready to be commercially introduced in North America and Europe.

Athlone primarily focuses its investment sourcing in Israel where many security solutions have been developed that are not yet widely available in the US or Europe. Athlone assists its portfolio companies to expand their international reach by establishing operations and sales in the markets where these technologies can be introduced and deployed. To this end, Athlone has partnered with the Chesapeake Innovation Center, a business incubator for homeland security firms in the D.C. area, through which it intends to introduce some of its portfolio companies.


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