A fundraising round for a cloud-based video surveillance system has attracted an unlikely pair of investors in Michael Dell and Enrique Salem.
Austin, Texas-based Eagle Eye Networks Inc. announced this morning that MSD Capital L.P., which is Dell’s private investment firm, is leading a multi-million dollar Series B fundraising round for the firm. Other investors hopping on board include Salem, the former Symantec Corp. CEO and current board member at FireEye, and Austin Ventures. The money will be put towards expanding a growing customers base, Eagle Eye Networks says in a press release.
Video surveillance is a good example of a technology-based service that is prime for disruption by a cloud approach. While the older medium of videotape for surveillance systems had many disadvantages (you had to retrieve it from the recorder, it didn’t have a long recording time, and it could be damaged easily), going to an all digital system carried with it to many complicated infrastructure requirements. The setup cost for storing 24/7 video surveillance footage and then providing a way to go back to the right moment that needed to be reviewed was costly and convoluted.
But having one company that can create a system that will do that makes sense when it offers the service to lots of different clients. Plus the cloud aspect of video surveillance opens up easy remote monitoring possibilities. Suddenly a real-time system that you can check up on from a smartphone and intelligently stores significant video events on file for weeks or months on end is both affordable and easy to set up. In fact we’re even seeing consumer solutions like Dropcam enter the market as a result of this disruption.
In its own survey of IT administrators, managers, and video surveillance professionals last year, Eagle Eye found 75 per cent of respondents found some advantages in cloud-managed video surveillance systems. Among the drivers they identified were easier storage and an automatic off-site backup, easier access to the content, and easier deployment and ability to add new cameras.
While cloud-based video surveillance is a growing market, it may be that Eagle Eye Network’s leadership team has something to do with Dell’s decision to lead the funding round. CEO Dean Drako previously founded security appliance vendor Barracuda Networks in 2003.
Drako left Barracuda in 2012 as the company reached profitability and 150,000 customers worldwide.