ImageWare Systems Inc., a San Diego developer of identity management software, said Dec. 21 that it completed a $10 million private equity placement to a group of unnamed institutional and private investors.

ImageWare said it sold 20 million shares of its common stock at 50 cents per share for gross proceeds of $10 million, along with issuing 10 million five-year stock warrants to the investors at an exercise price of 50 cents per share.

The company said it intends to use the funds to market its service, expand its intellectual property position, and for general corporate purposes.

In connection with the offering, ImageWare’s Series C and D preferred stock and its remaining outstanding convertible debt were automatically converted to common stock at 50 cents per share, the low price for the past year.

CEO Jim Miller said the financing gives the company the working capital it needs to execute its long-term business plan. “For the first time in many years, ImageWare is debt-free and fully-funded, allowing us to aggressively and competitively bid for new business without the lingering cloud of how our balance sheet appears to our potential customers.”

Traded on the Pink Sheets exchange under IWSP.PK, shares closed Dec. 22 at 58 cents, up 3 cents from the prior day’s closing price. The stock’s 52-week range is 50 cents to $1.70.

— Mike Allen