3VR lands $15 million funding round
SAN FRANCISCO--One of the by-products of November's announcement by IBM of a new searchable video product is renewed focus on 3VR Security, which in October announced it had raised $15 million in Series C funding, led by DAG Ventures. The round included follow-on investments by VantagePoint Venture Partners and In-Q-Tel, the venture capital firm funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.
DAG general partner Greg Williams said it was 3VR's video searching and indexing capabilities that made the company "a phenomenal opportunity" for investment.
"There's a tremendous amount of video being collected today," said Williams, "but the vast majority of it isn't being viewed, or is being viewed by people making 15 bucks an hour. To be able to proactively and reactively search the data after the fact is, in our view, incredibly powerful and allows institutions and governments to take advantage of all the investments they've made in video surveillance already. We see it as a way to leverage existing investments and get a lot more value out of them."
Return on investment is certainly where 3VR co-founder Stephen Russell is focused. "Integrators who don't understand that it's about ROI are just not getting it," he said. He emphasized that searchable video can get executives away from seeing security as a cost center. "The integrator can go in with new technology to existing customers and have a new opportunity to explain how they're going to make more money instead of lose less."
He cited loss prevention in retail markets and financial institutions, particularly guarding against check fraud, as primary targets for the ROI sales pitch.
DAG had previously only made investments in the data and network security fields, but sees potential in the technology streaming into the physical security field, Williams said. DAG is not actively pursuing investments in any other physical security companies right now, but "if something as good as 3VR comes along, we'd be very interested in that."
DAG got a seat on the 3VR advisory board for their funding, but Williams said the investment firm doesn't intend to meddle in management's affairs. "We wouldn't have been interested in the company if we didn't have confidence in the management," he said. "We're not going in there with the view that we want to make changes."