ASX Tech Stocks: Brainchip bounces on more patent news, while a B2B fintech is making $$$
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Brainchip (ASX:BRN) — the hottest stock on the ASX this year — is keeping the patent news flowing.
Shares in the company bounced this morning after the company announced it’s received an additional patent from the US patent office.
The update brings BRN’s total US patent suite to eight, along with one in China.
After ramping above $2 during a strong rally to start the year, Brainchip fell back below $1.40 at the end of January amid a broader tech rout.
But with additional demand this morning, it’s on track for a three-day rally which has brought the +$2bn market cap stock back to around $1.80.
At face value, the latest Brainchip patent may be fairly difficult to decipher for investors with only a cursory knowledge of semiconductor chip technology based on the neural pathways of the human brain.
“Method and a System for Creating Dynamic Neural Function Libraries” is the name of BRN’s latest US patent success.
It follows a US patent approval for “Event-based Classification of Features in a Reconfigurable and Temporally Coded Convolutional Spiking Neural Network” on January 21.
For its latest patent, Brainchip said the approval will give it protection for the development of a “digital neuron consisting of multiple synapse circuits connected to a soma circuit”.
In line with its neural pathway technology, BRN said that circuitry mimics a biological neuron where a soma cell receives inputs from multiple synapses.
Brainchip chief technical officer and founder, Peter van der Made, who holds a 9.351% stake in the business worth north of $200m, said US patents act as validation of the technology BRN has built.
The patents “signify to our customers and partners that the technology we have developed is at the forefront of revolutionising AI at the edge in ways that previous attempts have not been able to achieve”, van der Made said.
He added that the latest Brainchip patent helps give it competitive protection in a market where other research groups are looking to develop similar technology.
“We will continue to work towards increasing our patent awards globally as we continue to advance the field of neuromorphic artificial intelligence,” he said.
Late last year, Brainchip got a batch of its AKD1000 production chips made, and has engaged in a licence agreement with Tokyo-based electronic component manufacturer Megachips aimed at driving distribution.
Switching from AI tech to fintech — an ASX sector which has come under heavy pressure to start the year — there was some good news from B2B finance company EarlyPay (ASX:EPY), which upgraded guidance following a strong December half.
EPY is making money, and said first-half profits after tax are now expected to come in at ~$7.5m — double the prior year period and “well ahead of budget”.
As a result, it’s now upgraded full-year profit guidance to +$14m, and flagged a “material increase” to its full-year dividend.
EarlyPay attributed the H1 momentum to its core invoice financing platform, which allows small businesses to smooth out cash flows by extending lines of credit based on unpaid invoices.
Total transaction volume (TTV) on the platform rose to $1.2bn in H1.
CEO Daniel Riley said the company was able to generate higher net profits by increasing TTV while also reducing its debt financing costs.