Verified Identity Pass, operator of the “Clear” system that allowed members to pass quickly through airport security, is ceasing operations later this evening. In a statement on its website, the company said that it has “been unable to negotiate an agreement with its senior creditor.”
The company was founded in 2004 by media Steven Brill, and raised around $54 million in VC funding. Most of that capital came last year, when Verified Identity Pass raised $44.4 million at a pre-money valuation of approximately $90 million. Spark Capital led the round (think this is their first big bust), and was joined by Syncom Venture Partners and return backers Lockheed Martin, GE Security, RRE Ventures, Baker Capital and Lehman Brothers.
Not sure yet who the senior creditor is, but I’ve reached out for more info.
Worth noting that one of the company’s VC board members had spent the past week tweeting about how the company was on its last legs. He didn’t actually name the company (just said it was one of his investments), although I had narrowed it down to three before Clear officially pulled the plug/ Sounds like negotiations were pretty intense, and continued through yesterday. Late yesterday afternoon, he wrote “Well, I guess we can stick a fork in that one.”
As an aside, I think this is the first major bomb for Spark Capital, which led Clear’s $44.5 million round last year (Dennis Miller’s deal — he’s declining comment). Everyone has one eventually…