Cernium lands $10m more from Lurie

Thursday, December 6, 2007

RESTON, Va.—Cernium, a developer of video analytics-enabled products, announced this week is has received another $10 million in funding from Chicago-based Lurie Investments. This is the company’s fifth and largest funding round, the most recent being a $7.5 million infusion of capital, led by Lurie, in 2005.
The company will use the money, said president and chief executive officer Craig Chambers, to further expand its growing suite of branded (Perceptrak, ExitSentry) and private-label (PoolOptix) products. All of these are based on the Cernium’s core analytics engine, P-Core, which it pitches as using relatively little processing power to extract relatively more useful information at a lower cost than competitors.
“We’re moving the company from one that’s been positioned as a vertical technology integrator in the space,” said Chambers, “to one that’s focused on analytics-enabled products, where the end user is not buying technology, they’re buying a product that does something to solve a problem.”
On the low end, this may mean products like PoolOptix are sold directly to consumers and can be self-installed, or “they get it from the same guy who does the ladders and diving boards,” said Chambers. However, on the high end, Cernium will continue to partner with “a certain class of integrators that are staying up with the technology curve,” he said. “This is not going to be the kind of product that you just sell through any old integrator. With the simple products, we want anybody to be able to install it ... But at the high end, where we’re talking about large-camera sophisticated solutions, it will have to be a true integrator, not just a reseller.”
Chief financial officer Robert Latchford, part of a management team that averages about two years with Cernium, said the new round of funding from Lurie “is validation of what the team has done here, taking good base technology developed six years ago and really exploiting what that technology can do ... They saw our ability to pull that technology out and really make it a platform technology for creating numerous products.”
He also said the investors are aware of a market where analytics finally seem to have arrived. “People thought it would be here a few years ago,” Latchford chuckled, “but the market is finally here.”