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Biometrics Airport Security Startup CLEAR Filing IPO

Biometric security firm CLEAR filed its prospectus with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) with plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker YOU.

Biometrics scan unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, that can be used for automated recognition. It creates an unbreakable link between you and your identity.

CLEAR was founded in 2010 “to create a frictionless travel experience while enhancing homeland security,” according to the prospectus summary. Since then, the company has expanded its services to stadiums, theme parks, and other places and events where biometric scanning could be needed.

“Today, consumers expect frictionless experiences in different facets of their lives, and businesses are seeking to create safer and more seamless customer and employee journeys. This is now known as the convenience economy. We believe COVID-19 has further accelerated these trends.” said the prospectus.

CLEAR’s biometric security service offers subscriptions to its services so passengers can breeze through TSA lines at the airport and is particularly popular for people who travel often.

The company took a hit during the pandemic, seeing first-quarter revenues this year decline 17 percent compared to the same time frame in 2020. U.S. domestic flyers dropped 60 percent in 2020 and bookings went down 11 percent, according to the prospectus.

CLEAR recently launched its Health Pass app that securely stores COVID data — test results, vaccination records — making it easier for an airport or other facility to help ensure guests can’t spread the virus.

“As of May 31, 2021, our expansive network of partners and use cases provide our members with access to our nationwide network of 38 airports covering 106 checkpoints, 26 sports and entertainment partners, and 67 Health Pass-enabled partners and events covering 110 unique locations, as well as a growing number of offices, restaurants, theatres, casinos and theme parks. The continued expansion of our partnerships enables our partners to integrate with CLEAR and our members to use CLEAR in new places and in new ways,” according to the SEC filing.

Ken Cornick, co-founder and president of CLEAR, told Karen Webster in a PYMNTS interview in 2018 that establishing a person’s identity before they get on a plane is critical. But the process was always an “incredibly friction-filled process for the consumer.” The company expects security needs to continue growing and thinks that a portable biometric identity process can make the process faster and seamless with a fingerprint or iris scan.

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