Beontag CEO Excited About Growth Opportunities

Published: March 13, 2024

With a new R&D center, Ricardo Lobo is expecting expansion in retail, automotive, payments and more

After a series of acquisitions, Beontag CEO Ricardo Lobo is excited about the possibilities of the company—especially with a new state-of-the-art facility in Tampere, Finland.

The Tampere site will be Beontag’s Global R&D Center of Excellence, a pilot factory developing product innovations for a range of digital tag solutions, including BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) tags, supporting the company’s work in a diverse range of industries.

“I think one of the most promising things that we have for the future is a state-of-the-art R&D center that currently houses 50 employees, a number we expect to increase by between 15% and 20%, forming a growing team with diverse and varied skillsets,” said Lobo in an exclusive interview with

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Tampere Site

As the company continues to meet the existing and emerging needs of customers around the world, Lobo said the company’s success depends upon a commitment to innovation, best-in-class facilities, top-quality equipment, and an exceptional team.

“We are grateful to have found all that and more in Tampere,” he said. “Research and development will be at the heart of this new facility, and I speak for everybody in our organization when I express my excitement at the prospect of the contributions the Tampere team will make to the borderless and innovative future of both Beontag’s product offerings and the retail industry as a whole, pushing the boundaries of what is possible for product quality, sustainability, and affordability.”

Growth Possibilities

Lobo sees RFID growth in a range of industries, especially retail, automotive and payments.

“I think we’re going to have massive growth coming as we are one of the broadest companies, leaders really worldwide in terms of breadth of the portfolio,” he said. “I think there will be growth in non-apparel retail, we’re expecting to see growth from tires and auto parts. And I think we’re going to grow disproportionately in payments.”

“Not only were we doing apparel retail, but different types of retail, toll roads, payments, access…. Diversification has been part of our growth strategy from the beginning. We serve different markets, with customized solutions, and this generates organic growth not only in our company, but in the RFID market as a whole,” he said.

Lobo noted this has led the company being involved with subway systems in Hong Kong, Dubai and Vancouver, luxury retail brands such as Bulgari, and automakers such as Volvo.

Evolution of Beontag

Lobo offered that the need to be diverse has led to an evolution of the company, first being a material science company, then an electronics companies, and now a software company.

“As we see these applications become more and more relevant on what to do with the data that is collected and how to connect this data to the different platforms in the cloud and cell phones,” he said. “Today, we are already producing over 2 billion inlays a year and we’re above $150 million in revenue in DTE.”

Most encouraging to Lobo is that when acquired companies become integrated within the Beontag brand, the employees, no matter where they came from, “now consider themselves Beontagers and work together—same e-mail, same trade show, same stand—working more and more to integrate for a global portfolio.”

Lobo, after its series of acquisitions, sees a company DNA filled with employees with a pioneering spirit. In 2022, Beontag acquired Confidex, a leading provider of RFID applications, wireless IoT solutions, and transport ticketing. Confidex boasts major automotive, logistics and consumer brands as customers. Previously, Beontag acquired the RFID business unit of Digital Tags Finland (then Stora Enso), developer of plastic-free Eco RFID Tag technology.

Entrepreneurial DNA

“I think that there is entrepreneurial nature to all of the companies we acquired—and we chose them in part for that innovative spirit,” he said. “There was very positive side to these mergers and there was genuine entrepreneurial DNA in every one of these companies. The partners, the people, the assets, the technologies…we were always looking for the teams that would bring skills that we didn’t have.”

The next major step in Beontag’s global expansion is focused in the U.S., with a new $60 million facility set to open in Dayton, OH. He sees the American plant as integral part of the company’s growth.

“Ohio will do mass applications but also transportation, payment applications…we’re going to try to bring different applications,’ explained Lobo. “Retail is now in a mature stage and it’s about to really kick off in other ways as companies gather data and plan how they are going to use that information effectively.”

Helping Clients

Lobo sees the company’s clients as being in the middle of digital transformation, and one he sees Beontag as being ready to help along with their RFID capabilities and ESG goals. He is excited about the opportunity to create a digital product passport for a product, offering access to information on every stage of a product’s life cycle, from its origins all the way up to the present moment.

“Once you have that infrastructure in place, later you can introduce anti-theft features by investing, let’s say, in another module. And then you can do self-checkout, like you’ve seen many massive retailers doing,” he said. “Companies can interact with the product user by a cell phone, a feature enabled by this dual frequency tag with an NFC component. The capability is there, and if you do it right, there are so many customer benefits and engagement opportunities.”

And all of this is happening—with more to come—in Beontag’s R&D hub in Finland and its other locations across the globe.

“This powerful multidisciplinary work is located in the same place. Now you have other R&D places in the world, and they can come funnel back what they are doing,” he said. “That is why I’m excited about what we know now and the discoveries we’ll make along this journey.”

Key Takeaways:
  • The Tampere site will be Beontag’s Global R&D Center of Excellence, a pilot factory developing product innovations for a range of digital tag solutions,
  • Beontag CEO Ricardo Lobo, after a series of acquisitions, sees a company DNA filled with employees with a pioneering spirit.