GE Security spins off VideoIQ

Analytics division launches with new life as venture-backed private entity
Friday, June 1, 2007

WALTHAM, Mass.--Spun out of GE Security at the end of February, analytics maker VideoIQ is now up and running out of new offices here, backed by an infusion of venture capital from Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners. Scott Schnell, a former executive at RSA Security and Apple Computer will head an executive team that largely comprises former GE Security executives, including former chief technical officer Doug Marman.
Robert Siegel, general manager of video and software solutions at GE Security said, "GE remains a big believer in the analytics business," but felt VideoIQ would benefit from being an independent entity. "We wanted to make sure the technology was funded at an appropriate level to allow it to thrive," he said.
Further, GE Security will continue to study and develop analytics at their global engineering centers and is working with VideoIQ to resell its analytics and integrate it into GE Security products.
Schnell, at VideoIQ, said the support of GE and the ex-GE employees allowed the company to close sales even before it closed its venture funding. "The guys on the team," he said, "have long-standing relationships in the industry. We're able to quickly leverage that trust with the channel and technology partners."
VideoIQ will go to market, said Schnell, with a message that claims the highest accuracy in analytics thanks to a technology Schnell feels is unique, whereby the analytics recognize patterns in the video stream instead of pixel change, on which many analytics are based. Further, VideoIQ will pitch its ease of installation and its low cost.
"Our goal is to make this part of every installation," said Schnell, "not just the top two percent."
Schnell also said VideoIQ is looking to develop the emerging remote-guarding market. "We have a reseller today," said Schnell, "who gets a whole magnitude of extra performance out of each employee" with VideoIQ analytics creating alerts. "It creates the potential for real-time guarding where it was never practical before."
When does GE's Siegel think a small company is a better breeding ground for technology innovation? "You generally tend to get innovation from the edges," he said. "But in some businesses, the cost is so huge it's not practical for start-ups." He cited GE's and Smiths Detection's working trace detection as an example. "You require so much capital that you'll see large companies continue to lead in those types of areas. But if it's not a huge capital requirement, sometimes small teams can get a lot done very quickly."