Apple pours cash into Finisar, which makes facial recognition tech
Apple Inc. has made its second notable investment this week — this time in facial recognition technology company Finisar Corp.
The $390-million investment announced Wednesday comes from Apple’s $1-billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, created to finance the work of domestic manufacturers and create jobs in the U.S.
Apple announced the creation of the fund in May and plowed $200 million into Corning Inc., the maker of the Gorilla Glass, which is used in Apple’s touchscreens.
The Finisar investment will help the company boost production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, which Apple uses for Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies with the iPhone X TrueDepth camera and the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.
Finisar — which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif. — will open a manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas, about an hour north of Dallas, creating more than 500 jobs. The company runs a plant in Allen, just outside of Dallas.
On Monday, Apple revealed it had acquired Shazam. That company makes the song-recognition app that Apple’s digital assistant Siri has already been using to help people identify the music playing on their iPhones.
The investment announced Wednesday is a lifeline for Finisar, whose stock had tumbled nearly 40% this year after the company put up disappointing numbers in its past two quarters.
Shares of Finisar leaped 22.8% on Wednesday to $23.70.
2:20 p.m.: This article was updated with Finisar shares’ closing price.
This article was originally published at 7 a.m.