The Clear Health Pass is being used by multiple big league teams, arenas and stadiums. (Courtesy Clear)

League’s investment arm is part of $100 million round of funding

An investment by an arm of the NFL in Clear, the company that uses biometrics to speed entry into venues, airports, health care facilities and more, is a validation of the technology and the company’s digital Health Pass, according to the Clear executive leading the firm’s push into the sports and entertainment market.

Clear announced this week that it had raised $100 million in a recent funding round from several entities, including NFL investment arm 32 Equity.

“I think what you’re seeing is a market validation that Health Pass is a powerful way to help people return safely to a safe and healthy environment,” said Jerome Pickett, Clear’s senior vice president and general manager for sports and entertainment.

The funds will help fuel Clear’s expansion into the sports and entertainment sphere. The company’s Health Pass is a mobile application that connects a user’s identity to information related to COVID-19 and other health matters, including vaccination results. The pass “links and validates individuals’ vaccination credentials and will have access to the majority of healthcare facilities, pharmacies, and state-authorized vaccination centers,” according to a company statement.

Clear has a leaguewide partnership with the NHL, which used the Health Pass technology in its playoff bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, and nine NBA teams.

The NBA’s Orlando Magic, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers and New York Mets, Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles FC, Little Caesars Arena, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and MGM Resorts International also use Clear.

Clear’s technology, which uses biometric scans of fingerprints and faces to verify identities of preregistered users, has been used to screen employees and players as well as event attendees. At the Mets’ Citi Field, it has been used to power concession sales and age verification for alcoholic beverage purchases, according to Pickett, who said facial recognition and eye scans are gaining ground as industries move toward wider use of contactless transactions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pickett, a veteran of the U.S. Secret Service who before joining Clear was head of security for the NBA, said that Clear’s technology and ability to validate an identity and connect it to health insights, whether it be COVID tests or vaccine validation, makes the company a market leader in terms of offering leagues, venues and others, like its airline partners United and Delta, a path toward getting people “back to normal, back to the things that they love to do.”

“We want to have deep meaningful engagement with our partners, and we want to continue to innovate our platform based on operational needs,” Pickett said.