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Fortem raises $1.43m

Fortem raises $1.43m PSIM provider feeling confident in prospects for growth

MONTREAL—Saying that its Omnipresence 3D can do “more intelligent data aggregation” than other PSIM products on the market, Fortem recently announced that it has raised $1.43 million in additional funding.

The Anges Quebec Capital fund invested $500,000 and $525,000 was contributed by Anges Quebec, a network of investors. Jean-Guy Gourdeau, president of the Montreal-based Solstice Financial Group, led the project for Anges Quebec. An additional $2.1 million is expected to be added to this funding round before Feb. 2.

Formerly known as Feeling Software, Fortem has its roots in the video gaming industry. From 2005 to 2009, its founder, Christian Laforte, developed 3D software for Google, Sony, Apple and the Canadian Space Agency.

Christophe Bouchaud, SVP of sales, said Fortem is very good at 3D rendering and modeling and “uses lessons learned [about user friendliness] from the gaming and special-effects world and applied it to security.”

A security officer can be comfortable using the Fortem interface “within 30 seconds,” according to Bouchaud.

“In our software, you navigate it as though you're [playing] a video game. … It's as though you are there—it's so obvious [how to use it],” he said.

The PSIM's 3D and geo-referencing capabilities mean that “every pixel has a spatial and time reference attached to it” so the system can do things “you cannot do in a traditional 2D system,” he said.

Based on the 3D drawing, the system intuitively knows which security components are in place, so it does not require the hard-coding and preprogramming of other PSIMs, Bouchaud explained.

Past clients include the Montreal Public Transit System, the engineering school at the University of Montreal, and the city of Newark, N.J. Among its current clients is the metro system in Paris.

The new funds will be used to double the size of the company, currently at 22 employees, within the next 18 months, Bouchaud said.

Fortem has more than 70 projects in the pipeline and is in the process of expanding its VAR network. It now has about 15 certified VARs and about a dozen more in the process.

The company expects 50 percent of its growth to come from North America, 40 percent from Europe and 10 percent from elsewhere.

Asked about a recent projection by Frost & Sullivan that the PSIM market will grow from $142.9 million in 2011 to $2.79 billion in 2021, Bouchaud said the prediction is on the mark.

He believes that some manufacturers have overpromised PSIM capabilities.

“We're the 2.0 in the PSIM world, and we're the only 2.0 at this point,” Bouchaud said. “The [PSIM] technology is changing and we hope to be a leader of that development.”


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