Apple pours cash into Finisar, which makes facial recognition tech

Apple executive Phil Schiller announces the Face ID feature in September.
Apple executive Phil Schiller announces the Face ID feature in September.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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.