Agilence lands more funding

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.--Agilence, a maker of event-based video analytics, in late June announced it has closed an investment round of unspecified size, with NextStage Capital as the lead investor. This is the company's first institutional funding round.
"There's a couple of aspects to the Agilence guys that we found exciting relative to the other players out there," said Robert Adams, a managing partner with NextStage, a $20 million early stage venture capital fund that now has representation on the Agilence board of directors. "They came out of an existing company, called CA Technology, a leader in analytics as well, particularly the synchronization of the [point of sale system] with the video camera." He said the primary differentiator with Agilence is that its retail- and transaction-focused products pull data directly from the point-of-sale stream and marry it with video, while other analytics and software systems use the transaction log. "The transaction log is just not as granular as pulling it direction out of the POS on a real-time basis," Adams said.
Agilence's analytics are built into StoreVision, a product that offers surveillance and auditing capabilities for retailers; TollVision, an audit solution for toll systems like E-ZPass; and V-Metrics, a video content analysis engine used for license plate recognition and other functions. The new funding will be used to expand in the retail and transportation verticals and open new markets, said president and chief executive officer John Sullivan. Further, there will be extensive product development, he said. "We're moving from a traditional software client to more of a web client," he explained, "populating management dashboards with certain stats they're interested in, giving them real-time summaries" of what's occurring in retail locations, for example. Further, he said, "we're trying to repackage the way we traditionally sell our security products." With a web client, for example, retailers could resell certain business information to their vendors and installers could create new recurring revenue streams by facilitating that.
Adams also said he was attracted to Agilence's service offering, which offers retailers the ability to outsource their auditing tasks, leaving internal security staff to work on interviewing and other person-to-person activities. "That labor issue is not one to be overlooked," said Adams. "It's hard to find and train people to sit in front of surveillance monitors."
"It's kind of like the next step beyond outsourced monitoring," said Sullivan. "As opposed to just doing the surveillance on the facility, we're mining the data streams, finding the exceptions, then auditing the exceptions, drilling down to see if there's an incident of fraud, or maybe the cashier did well. Then we send those reports back to the customer." This is a service that integrator partners can resell, as well, Sullivan said, taking a cut of the monthly service price.
"Really, we're just using our system the way that our customers should use our system," said Sullivan.
Current Agilence clients included Bloomingdales, Pathmark Stores and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Ohio-based Bass Security is among the integrators who currently partner with Agilence.