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video surveillance

Acuity lands $1 million in funding

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hey folks - sorry for the long drought of posts. I’ve been soaking up rare summer rays here in the great state of Maine and basically ignoring the security industry as much as possible (though I was extolling the virtues of the alarm deal to my lawyer cousin Ricky this weekend - sorry about introducing competition Pritchard!).

Anyway, wanted to give a quick thanks to Alan McHale at Memoori, whose collection of industry deals in the June Memoori Executive Brief pointed me toward a small deal filed with the SEC by Acuity, which I hadn’t seen previously.

After tracking down the original document, it looks like a funding round that could grow close to $2.5 million, but which has raised about $911k thus far.

No investors are listed specifically, other than company execs, so it may just be the founders throwing in some extra cash to keep things moving along.

When they first launched, I wrote a fairly inflammatory piece wondering if they were the next big video company, as they’ve got great Pelco/American Dynamics pedigree, but they’ve been fairly quiet recently.

Their news page doesn’t have anything more recent than July 16, 2009, though that’s not all that rare in the security industry, I suppose.

I’ve got an email into Glenn Waehner, founder and CTO, to see what’s up.

Hikvision files for large IPO

Friday, May 28, 2010

I don’t have a link, as I received the press release as a Word document, but Chinese video products manufacturer Hikvision has announced an initial public offering that should raise a big chunk of change:

“50,000,000 shares at the price of ¥68 per share on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.”

So, what’s that in dollars? By my math, they’re talking $10 a share, times 50 million, equals a $500 million capital raise.

That should definitely fuel some R&D.

This listing will allow Hikvision to invest in product research and development to continue to deliver state-of-the-art products and solutions for customers around the world. Hikvision plans to continue to invest in its logistics and technical service centers in the US and Europe, as well as other regions and markets, in order to provide better service to customers.

I think the company still isn’t well known here in the US, and they’d like to change that. The number 1 maker of DVRs in the world probably isn’t happy that no one in the largest security market (if the US is still the largest security market) really knows who they are.

With 2,700 employees, 700 of whom are engineers, it wouldn’t be surprising if the company made serious in-roads here in short order. But their brand is not well known from the consumer side, for example, the way Samsung/Panasonic/Sony and other Asian firms are, and I think the North American market will remain skeptical for some time until channels and relationships are well cemented.

I’ve got a request in for interview, so hopefully I’ll have some more information soon on North American plans.

Ksenia’s right: Grey’s Anatomy finale was a joke!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yes, this sounds silly, but bully for Firetide’s Ksenia Coffman for blogging about how ridiculous the Grey’s Anatomy season finale was, and what a mockery it made of the security industry.

I was watching and screaming at the TV in similar fashion (my wife is a fan and I’ve been sucked in - you don’t want to know the amount of time I wasted in college watching soap operas). Ksenia sums it up pretty well, but here’s the jist in case you don’t feel like clicking through: Shooter walks into a hospital, has free reign of all areas without needing a pass-card or PIN to get anywhere, there’s no video surveillance, the chief of surgery doesn’t know what to do in case of an active shooter, there is no evident chief of security, etc., etc.

Why does it matter? Well, just as it’s dodgy when Cisco buys time on 24 to show of capabilities that are likely not real, it’s unfortunately true that the public gets much of their perceptions of security practice and ability from mainstream entertainment. When a show like CSI, which people think is striving for accuracy and gritty detail, zooms in a thousand times and gets a person’s identity from the reflection of a chrome bumper, that skews the perceptions of what’s possible and what end users could theoretically be tasked to execute.

And when Grey’s Anatomy, which people think strives for accuracy in its medical depictions (which are also a joke, by the way - my wife is an audiologist and the storyline about the woman with a hole in her head being schizophrenic was just as ridiculous as the security depiction), shows hospital security equipment and staff as woefully inadequate it colors the expectations of the people who will be entering and using hospitals all over the country.

If they don’t feel safe in the hospitals, if they make ridiculous requests because of feeling unsafe, that makes professionals’ jobs harder. So it’s great for people like Ksenia to get out in front of people and say, hey, that’s a bunch of crap.

Though if there’s anyone out there in the viewing audience who thought it made sense that SWAT could wing a guy with a high-caliber assault rifle but not be able to then subdue him? Well, I hope to sell them a bridge in Maine someday.