In this Research Note, we examine the Salto Systems business, based on their recent activities, 2022 revenues, M&A strategy, product innovation and target markets. This article updates our previous analysis of March 2022.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Oiartzun, Spain, Salto Systems is a manufacturer of electronic locks and access control solutions. The group has 1,500 people from 80 countries working in over 40 offices around the world.
Salto Systems Investment History
Florac, a French investment vehicle wholly owned by the Meyer family, took a minority stake in SALTO in October 2020 alongside existing shareholders such as Alantra and new investors including Sofina and Peninsula Capital. Financial investors hold a combined 30% stake, with the remainder retained by SALTO’s founding members and managers (60%) and private investors (10%).
Inorganic growth has played a large role in Salto’s strategy. The funds raised through the minority stake in 2020 allowed SALTO to acquire Gantner Electronic, an Austrian company specialising in access systems, electronic locking and locker systems, cashless payment, cash register and billing systems, staff time recording systems as well as ticketing and management software for leisure facilities.
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Nüziders, Austria, this leading European manufacturer offers systems that enable automatic and contactless identification, based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. This major strategic acquisition enabled the firm to strengthen its product portfolio and consolidate its market position.
In the first quarter of 2022, Salto Systems completed three acquisitions, augmenting its technology capabilities and expanding its regional presence:
- The acquisition of a majority stake in Dutch company, Bluefield Smart Access strengthens its Physical Identity and Access Management (PIAM) solutions capability.
- Cognitec, an automatic face recognition solutions supplier, headquartered in Germany, enables the integration of emerging biometric technologies and contactless solutions into Salto’s products.
- In preparation for further expansion of its market presence in the Asia Pacific region, Salto acquired the remaining 49% of its Joint Venture partner in Singapore. The Salto Singapore business unit is intended as a central hub within Asia, also covering Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
In April 2023, Salto acquired TouchByte, a Cornwall, UK-based developer of face recognition solutions for access control. TouchByte’s latest product, Facentry, offers keyless face recognition access control. This acquisition augments Cognitec products, acquired in 2022.
By integrating its FaceVACS algorithm, powered by Cognitec with TouchByte’s solutions portfolio and face management platform, SALTO intends to accelerate the development and time-to-market of an advanced face recognition access control solution.
Salto Systems reported 2022 sales of €385 million (not yet audited) and 1,465+ employees in 41 countries, according to Sofina, one of its investors.
This corresponds to a 48% revenue growth since the acquisition of Gantner in October 2020 when combined revenues amounted to €260 million.
The company’s products have included the first battery-powered standalone electronic lock, SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) data-on-card technology, and the first wireless access control system combining a standalone locking device with online and real-time capabilities, all without the use of wires or traditional keys.
In recent years, SALTO's technological developments in mobile access solutions and cloud-based access control technology have strengthened the company's position in the global access control market.
Salto Systems has been able to differentiate itself through strength in innovation and aesthetics. More than 35% of sales come from products developed within the last 4 years.
Salto Systems is strongly positioned in the European and US markets, particularly in the hospitality market, which has driven year-on-year growth of over 20% since 2008. Apart from the large demand for digital locking systems in the hotel industry, the company has targeted other vertical markets in recent years.
SALTO Systems is aiming to play a leading role in the process of the mass replacement of traditional keys with digital electronic keys, consolidating its position as one of the top three electronic lock manufacturers worldwide.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.