Shares in anti-counterfeiter YPB group were up 30 per cent in morning trade after the announcement that the company had signed a MOU with a strategic partner of Alibaba.

The deal between YPB Group (ASX: YPB) and iSynergi Solutions will see the company’s authentication technology used on consumer goods such as wine, infant formula, skincare and vitamins exported to China.

YPB shares were trading at 5.5c on Friday morning – up from a “disappointing” low of 4 cents the day earlier.

The company yesterday announced it had raised $2.6 million from existing shareholders at that price in order to complete the acquisition of micro barcode technology Motif Micro.

Chairman John Houston was optimistic the agreement would turn the company around and set it back on its path to generate $5 million next year.

“iSynergi’s expertise in the China e-commerce market and in particular via Alibaba’s platforms not only offers valuable revenue opportunities for YPB but will facilitate the development of further relationships within the Alibaba ecosystem,” he said.

‘It is an important and valuable step in the company’s development”.

The acquisition has taken 20 months for YPB, first announced back in December 2015 when shares were valued at 26c.

“While [it’s] disappointing to be raising equity with such a weak stock price, the strong support from current and recently retired directors demonstrates their optimistic view of the company’s prospects,” Mr Houston said.

“The team is intent on kicking important goals over the remainder of 2017 to ensure the company becomes profitable and self-sufficient as soon as possible.”

Motif’s technology — partly funded by the US Air Force and developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — allows smart phone users to check for fake products by scanning an invisible marker.

The microscopic barcodes are designed to protect everything from luxury handbags to drugs and even fighter jet parts.

YPG director Gerard Eakin told Stockhead the technology “turns every consumer into an authenticator”.

“Each barcode is less than a grain of salt and has an infinite number of unique identifiers… they could mark every grain of sand in the world with their technology.”

YPB had $557,000 in the bank at the end of June, but Mr Eakin was confident the only way was up. The company expects to make $5 million in the next financial year.

“We are probably behind where we should be,” he said.

“The CEO left at the beginning of July when we just weren’t converting the pipeline into revenues as we should have but now its all hands on deck to deliver the numbers we talk about and bringing the credibility back.”