VideoIQ closes $6m in venture financing

CEO Schnell: 'My ultimate goal is to displace Axis'
Thursday, February 18, 2010

BEDFORD, Mass.—VideoIQ, self-described as a provider of a decentralized, intelligent surveillance system including fully integrated cameras with onboard analytics, zero bandwidth recording and an advanced VMS, announced last week it has closed a $6 million funding round with Atlas Ventures, Matrix Capital and Tenaya Capital.

It is evidence, said CEO Scott Schnell, that VideoIQ has passed the second hurdle as a start-up company and is ready for the next major step. “You start out with an idea and intellectual property, and first you have to build a product,” he said, indicating that step was completed with the release of the company’s iCVR in August of 2008. “Then the second threshold is finding customers who aren’t your cousins, who understand and value the benefits that your product offers and they buy it.” Schnell said VideoIQ added more than 200 customers in 2009, including video monitoring firms like First Alarm, ION Interactive, iVerify, G4S, Mace CSSS, Rapid Response, and Visentry.

“I don’t know how many companies you can think of that signed up 200 paying new customers for a completely new concept in their first year of commercial shipment,” Schnell said. “I’m proud of what we accomplished.”

The next trick is to scale, and that’s where the new investment capital comes in. “It’s too early for us to be profitable,” Schnell said. “We’re in the investment and growth phase ... it typically takes three to five rounds of capital before companies reach the size and velocity to make them cash-flow break even or better. The trick is to have investors with good capital reserves, and we’re fortunate to have great investors. Matrix is one of the most successful venture firms in history.”

Perhaps most interesting is that, when talking about the company’s goals, Schnell does not see his firm as a “video analytics company.” He sees VideoIQ as a camera and encoder company, and believes the future of video surveillance is for there to be intelligence in every piece of the surveillance system.

“My ultimate goal is to displace Axis,” he said, matter-of-factly. “We believe that what we’re doing is different enough, and well-protected enough, that we can be a leader in the industry and potentially displace one of the incumbents.”

For thoughts on where embedded storage on cameras fits in the market, see the Editor's Desk blog.

For SSN's coverage of the initial release of the iCVR, see this story from 2008.