|Headquarters||Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
|Revenue||$30 million (2011)|
Eid Passport is a privately owned access control company based in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 2000, the company operates a system primarily used by retailers to track when vendors are at their individual stores, and secondarily to allow for quicker access to military facilities, both utilizing radio-frequency identification in conjunction with background checks. Headquartered in Hillsboro, the 250-employee company had revenues of about $30 million in 2011.
Steve Larson came up with the idea behind the company in 2000 when Bryan Nelson of Wavetrend Technologies Ltd. approached Unicru Inc., where Larson was the chief executive. Nelson, CEO of Wavetrend, inquired if Unicru could use Wavetrend’s long-range radio-frequency identification scanning technology. Unicru’s business model could not incorporate the technology, but Larson thought of a way the technology could be used in a similar fashion, and spun-off what was then Eid Access. "Eid" stands for either employee or electronic identification; the name is not a reference to the Islamic holidays. While Unicru focused on automated background checks for employers, Eid would be used to provide similar assurances for vendors at retail outlets and other locations, and allow for easy access and tracking of the vendors. Originally, the company hoped to generate revenue by 2002, but Eid did not earn revenue until 2004.
In 2003, Eid Access was named as one of two winners, with Phoseon Technology the other, of the Portland, Oregon-based Business Journal’s Oregon Business Plan Competition. At the time, the company was located in Beaverton, Oregon, and had 22 employees, while its board of directors included people such as retired general Merrill McPeak. In June 2003, Kroll invested $2 million in the company for a 19 percent ownership stake, as well as taking on the background checks that are a part of the Eid system. Also in June, company president Larry Neitling went back into retirement, and Ed Hahn was named president of Eid. Eid changed its name in July 2003 to Eid Passport from Eid Access.
The company first installed its system in retail stores in the Chicago, Illinois, area in April 2003, starting with K-Mart stores. Revenue forecasts in 2003 called for $19 million for the fiscal year ending in 2004 growing to $67 million the following year, at which point Eid planned to make a profit. In August 2005, Ralph E. Eberhart, a retired United States Air Force general, was appointed to the company’s board of directors. By October 2005, Eid had grown to 30 employees, but was still not profitable. By March 2007, Eid had grown to 53 employees and expected to have revenues of $18 to $24 million that year. Politician Tom Ridge was added to the company’s board of directors that year as well, after the company had raised a total of $30 million in capital since its inception. Former United States Coast Guard admiral Thomas H. Collins was also on the board at that time.
The company obtained a patent in 2009 for its business method. C&H Patriot Security, based in Virginia, was acquired by Eid in October 2009. For 2009, Eid had revenues of $6.6 million, and the next year had grown to 75 employees. Eid filed a lawsuit against Intellicheck Mobilisa Inc. in November 2009, accusing the competitor of anti-competitive behavior after Intellicheck bought Positive Access Corp. and canceled that company’s license with Eid. Eid later expanded the suit to include false advertising. In July 2010, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon denied a motion to dismiss the suit.
Eid added a support office in Minot, North Dakota, in 2011. The company announced they would relocate the corporate headquarters from near Washington Square in Tigard to Hillsboro. Eid’s new 72,000-square-foot (6,700 m2) headquarters are along the Sunset Highway in a three-story brick building that formerly housed an office of Credence Systems Corporation. At the time, revenue had grown from $10 million in 2010 to $30 million in 2011, and the company had added almost 100 jobs during that time, and planned to hire 100 more. The new office officially opened in August 2012 with a ceremony featuring board member Tom Ridge along with U.S. representatives Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici, as well as Hillsboro politicians. At the time of the opening of the new headquarters, Eid had 250 employees company-wide with satellite offices in Washington, D.C., and the support center in Minot.
The company has one product, RAPIDGate. Eid signs-up retailers or other facilities, and then installs equipment at the individual locations that includes radio-frequency identification (RFID) scanning equipment. The retailer or facility then requires its vendors to use the system, at which point the vendors submit each of their employees to an Eid background check. Upon passing the background check, the vendors are issued identification cards by Eid that include RFID technology. These cards can be read by the equipment from up to 300 feet (91 m) away. Then, when vendors enter a location, the system tracks when they arrived and left.
Fees are generally charged to the vendors for using the system, allowing for little in the way of expenses for the retailer or other location implementing the system. However, vendors only need to pay the fees once per employee per year, as the system then allows tracking of the same vendors at other retailers that also use the product. Eid then charges an annual fee to the vendor for both the company and each vendor employee to ensure both are still in good standing. Customers have included the United States Marine Corps, Manpower Inc., K-Mart, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
- Goldfield, Robert (April 20, 2003). "Eid Access: It's all in the security". Portland Business Journal.
- Earnshaw, Aliza (March 11, 2007). "EID finds military success requires plenty of patience". Portland Business Journal.
- "Kroll invests in Eid Access". Portland Business Journal. June 2, 2003.
- Goldfield, Robert (June 22, 2003). "Eid welcomes new CEO, investor". Portland Business Journal.
- "Eid Access replaces president". Portland Business Journal. June 19, 2003.
- "Eid changes moniker, offers retail program". Portland Business Journal. July 29, 2003.
- McMillan, Dan (August 31, 2003). "Eid grows from Access to Passport". Portland Business Journal.
- Goldfield, Robert (October 5, 2003). "Passport gets Eid through the door". Portland Business Journal.
- Goldfield, Robert (May 25, 2003). "Security provider reports advances". Portland Business Journal.
- "Retired general joins EID Passport board". Portland Business Journal. August 8, 2005.
- Garvin, Eileen M. (October 9, 2005). "Oregon RFID companies take cue from Wal-Mart drive". Portland Business Journal.
- Worcester, Adam (September 19, 2010). "Business-method patents supply measure of respect". Portland Business Journal.
- "Eid Passport buys Virginia company". Portland Business Journal. October 12, 2009.
- "Eid Passport sues Intellicheck Mobilisa". Portland Business Journal. December 1, 2009.
- "Eid Passport expands suit against Intellicheck Mobilisa". Portland Business Journal. February 26, 2010.
- Stevens, Suzanne (July 26, 2010). "Eid Passport clears hurdle in Intellicheck suit". Portland Business Journal.
- Siemers, Erik (February 24, 2011). "Eid Passport to open N.D. office". Portland Business Journal.
- Theen, Andrew (April 27, 2012). "Booming business leads Eid Passport Inc. to expand and relocate to Hillsboro". The Oregonian.
- Siemers, Erik (April 26, 2012). "Eid Passport relocating to Hillsboro, adding 100 jobs". Portland Business Journal.
- Theen, Andrew (August 29, 2012). "Eid Passport cuts ribbon on new facility with Tom Ridge in attendance". The Oregonian.