Fulcrum Biometrics expands into Africa

Issue 4 2020 Editor's Choice

Fulcrum Biometrics, a company based in Texas and focused on biometric and identity management, has announced the launch of its new international office in South Africa.

Fulcrum was founded in 2002 and later expanded to the city of Gurgaon, some 20 kilometres southwest of New Delhi, India, where it established a software development hub, sales and distribution office to serve the region. Ken Nosker, one of the original founders, is still the president and CEO of the company.

Fulcrum Biometrics Southern Africa is led by a group of people with a long history in the local IT and biometrics market. Rob Griggs is the managing directors, and he is supported by John Taylor (sales director) and Dave Crawshay-Hall (chief technical officer). Another well-known name in the local market, Charlie Laxton, is also on the board, but is based in the USA.

The company offers a host of biometric solutions and services based on its own IP and solutions from a variety of other companies. Its Fulcrum Biometrics Framework (FbF) is a suite of tools that simplifies the integration of biometrics into any mobile, desktop, or web-based application, enabling customers to integrate multiple biometric modalities into their identity solutions, whether for physical or logical identity management. The company also offers a range of SDKs (software development kits) for a variety of systems and solutions (including cards for those companies looking to integrate traditional identity management with biometrics).

This is not a first entry into Africa for Fulcrum; the company has done a number of projects on the continent before. However, Nosker says, “Over the last few years, the demand from Africa for biometrically powered security and identity management tools in a host of market sectors has increased tremendously. It became clear to us that Africa was the next growth market in biometrics. This has led us to the decision to establish our third global company presence in Johannesburg.”

Nosker continues, “Today, Fulcrum Biometrics is a single point of contact for anyone selecting, integrating, and deploying biometrics-enabled systems and security solutions. We are committed to the growth and expansion of the biometrics industry and to developing new biometrics applications in areas such as identity management, policing, security, micro finance, e-Government, retail, healthcare, non-profits, banking and many other verticals.”

Griggs says the local operation will look at capitalising on the growing number of opportunities in the sub-Saharan region. Interestingly, most of the opportunities will be found on the broader security and identity management markets rather than the traditional access control segment. Of course, given the pandemic and its impact, there are many opportunities in the touchless biometric market, from facial to iris recognition. Fulcrum can offer clients facial biometrics that function even if the individual is wearing a mask.

Rob Griggs, Dave Crawshay-Hall and John Taylor.

Recently, Fulcrum Inc. was acquired by Fujitsu Frontech North America, which means the local company also has access to Fujitsu’s range of biometric solutions. Crawshay-Hall says that the Fujitsu Palm Vein Reader will be a good touchless alternative for fingerprint biometric readers as it offers security and speed, without requiring users to touch a scanner or screen.

Fulcrum SA will focus on an indirect route to market and will partner with a range of local companies, such as system integrators (SIs) with access to South African and African markets. The FbF is a toolset that will enable SIs to integrate customers’ solutions with far less work. The local Fulcrum team will work with end users and SIs to ensure the best solutions are designed to deliver the optimal user experience.


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