Ottawa company inks MOU on South Korean trade mission

The CEO of Ottawa’s inBay Technologies has more than a little jet lag to show from his trip to South Korea as part of a recent trade mission led by the federal government.

Stan Xavier returned to the capital late last week with a signed memorandum of understanding with AirCUVE, a South Korean company Mr. Xavier said has 60 per cent of that country’s authentication market.

This is a big deal for inBay and its idQuanta trusted services platform, a service that allows smartphone users to access their devices without a password.

The signing was the culmination of about 18 months of work, according to inBay’s vice-president of marketing, Bob Steklasa.

Mr. Steklasa said the deal identifies inBay as a “leading-edge supplier” for AirCUVE’s requirements.

“This is a really big deal because two-thirds of the data breaches are due to compromises in passwords or stolen passwords,” he said.

The company’s solution helps smartphone users avoid these security issues, said Mr. Xavier.

This is the first international deal for the four-year-old firm, but Mr. Xavier said there are pilot projects underway with other potential partners in South Korea and Japan. He said as with AirCUVE, inBay will work with these partners to continue developing a product that will work for them.

“We have our model where people actually work with us to grow their services as they understand our service, they give us feedback … we try to grow the business around them,” he said.

It might be a small company now with just 15 employees, but Mr. Xavier said he has high hopes for the future of inBay.

“We do have global aspirations,” said Mr. Xavier, the former director of advanced technology for Nortel. “We have pilots, we’ll work with our partners and see where the market is. We are already getting interest in Japan and North America.”

The trade mission comes just over a month after South Korean tariffs of up to 13 percent on all Canadian information communication technology exports were eliminated as part of the free trade agreement between the two countries effective Jan. 1.

Fidus Systems and Ambico were the other Ottawa companies on the trade mission. The trip was the biggest trade mission International Trade Minister Ed Fast has ever led, according to his spokesman, Max Moncaster.

“It was knocked out of the park. It was good,” he said.