Finjan Holdings Inc. (FNJN), the cybersecurity technology and licensing company run by CEO Phil Hartstein, said it sees accelerating licensing momentum after securing nearly $4 million in licensing revenue in the fourth quarter and may be close to breaking even in the same quarter.
East Palo Alto, California-based Finjan said in a statement today it ended 2015 with about $5 million in licensing revenue including the $4 million in the fourth quarter alone and $6 million in cash. Finjan’s filings with the Securities and exchange Commission show it had a cash burn rate of about $4 million a quarter through the first nine months of 2015 and cash on the balance sheet of $7.16 million as of Sept. 30.
Much of the cash was spent on the company’s trial against Blue Coat Systems, which ended in a $39.5 million judgment against Blue Coat in August from a U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. Finjan is also is seeking to recover $7.8 million in exceptional case fees from Blue Coat in a motion before the court.
With today’s statement, Finjan, which has seen its stock drop by more than two-thirds over the past year along with other licensing companies, is working to differentiate itself from rivals who aren’t as successful at collecting licensing revenue such as Spherix Inc. (SPEX), ParkerVision Inc. (PRKR) and Document Securities Systems (DSS), all of whom have seen their shares slide even more than Finjan.
To be sure, Finjan still has a long way to go before its licensing successes rival those of InterDigital Inc. (IDCC) or WiLAN Inc. (WILN), both of whom have an established quarterly cadence of licensing deals. WiLAN, in particular ended 2015 with two licensing deals and announced three new licensing deals to start 2016.
Last week, Finjan announced a $3.65 million licensing agreement with a U.S.-based network security company that included a $1 million payment on Dec. 31, a $1.65 million payment in July and a $1 million payment in September.
In the licensing business “it’s all about who collects licensing fees representing fair value for the use of the technology,” Hartstein said in an interview. “We’re collecting and we’ve given a schedule on when we’ll book the revenue.”
In November, Finjan also reached a licensing agreement with Czech software company Avast for $2.975 million, of which all of the revenue was received in 2015.
The company said it has a strong licensing pipeline ahead in 2016 and beyond.
Hartstein said in a statement that “licensing momentum accelerated in the fourth quarter and allowed Finjan to enter 2016 with an additional $5 million in licensing fees under contract.”
Calling 2015 a pivotal year, Hartstein said “we gained meaningful traction in our licensing program while diversifying our business with the introduction of mobile security and cybersecurity advisory services.”
He said Finjan also continued to demonstrate the value of its intellectual property with its judgment against Blue Coat “while successfully defending our patent portfolio.”
Shares of Finjan have traded between $1.02 and $3.25 over the past year.
In 2016, Finjan has several upcoming trials that could serve as catalysts to boost its stock price including a trial against Proofpoint scheduled for the second quarter and a trial against Sophos scheduled for the third quarter.
The company also is hoping to benefit from new cybersecurity consumer products and a cybersecurity risk advisory business based in Tel Aviv launched last year that have yet to produce meaningful results.
“The reemergence of Finjan as a pure play cybersecurity technology company, with several new businesses in emerging and underserved markets, provides a more sustainable platform for future growth,” Hartstein said. “We are managing the company in a prudent manner while building upon Finjan’s 20-year history of innovation in the cybersecurity sector to create long-term value for our licensees, shareholders and prospective investors.”
—To reach the reporter responsible for this story please contact Dan Lonkevich at 707 318-7899 or at email@example.com