VC firm Sierra backs SteelBox Networks

Friday, September 1, 2006

ATLANTA--SteelBox Networks, a video switching software manufacturer, received $10 million in venture funding from Sierra Ventures, of Menlo Park, Calif., in late July.
With the funding, SteelBox will seek opportunities to expand its business in the surveillance market. The company will continue to hunt for new partnerships with integrators and equipment manufacturers to find feasible markets to enter.
Currently, the company's footprint includes large-scale video surveillance applications and networks in terminals and mass transit venues throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.
However, SteelBox's goal is to gain a larger presence in the United States market.
Richard Howes, chief executive officer, said an example of this would be adding their solution in casinos and prisons, which use a large concentration of cameras to watch the day-to-day activity.
Executives and engineering veterans of Cisco Systems, Scientific Atlanta and Nortel Networks founded SteelBox in 2003. The founders, with an extensive background in networking infrastructure, have an understanding of how the surveillance market ticks.
"Video never stops," Howes said. "We have to have equipment that is built for 24/7 video infrastructure."
"We understand the network, and video," Howes said. "And how damaging the video can be to the network. For example, when there is a spike in network use, the video might not be available." By understanding the peaks of usage, SteelBox can solve those issues, he added.
Sierra Venture partner Mike Scanlin said in a written statement that the SteelBox solution expands to support thousands of streams with storage into the petabytes (1000 terabytes), which provides a solution for large-scale video surveillance projects.
Howes said, "Our storage can be used with any video system as an open platform to enhance the performance. We see ourselves as an enabling technology for the various surveillance vendors out there."