Equation Summit shifts focus to anti-theft tech

A Walmart receipt showing a unique code that is assigned to a product. This is part of DiSa's anti-theft solution.
A Walmart receipt showing a unique code that is assigned to a product. This is part of DiSa's anti-theft solution.PHOTO: EQUATION SUMMIT

An anti-theft system developed by a Singapore-based firm is on the brink of being used in all stores of giant American retailer Walmart.

The potential of the product developed by DiSa Digital Safety is so good that its parent company, Equation Summit, is undergoing major restructuring to focus solely on the anti-theft technology.

Plans include issuing $12 million of two-year convertible bonds, cutting Equation's share capital to $18.9 million from $154.5 million through a capital reduction and selling its subsidiaries.

DiSa will be the Catalist-listed firm's only unit left.

Equation Summit chief executive Eddie Chng said the firm has been an investment holding company, investing in more than six firms in the last 10 years.

"It has come to our attention that only DiSa can be and will be a game changer. It can scale globally with its disruptive technology that's first in the United States retail industry," he added.

"Having worked on DiSa for five years, I finally won a huge endorsement from Walmart."

The system - which removes the need for security devices to be attached to products - completed a 30-day trial with the retailer earlier this year.

It assigns a personal identification number code to each item - consumer electronics, in particular - at the point when they are manufactured. The consumer gets the unique code to unlock the product when he buys it.

As part of the trial, the codes have been placed on 70 tablets on sale at 20 Walmart stores each.

DiSa plans to work with Walmart suppliers in the first quarter of next year, said Mr Chng.

Although focusing on only one product or unit may seem risky, Mr Chng noted: "With Walmart, our risk is minimal but our growth is enormous, so we are putting all resources behind DiSa to make the technology an industry standard in the US."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2016, with the headline 'Equation Summit shifts focus to anti-theft tech'. Print Edition | Subscribe