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HiveWatch has big plans backed by big investors

HiveWatch has big plans backed by big investors Company Founder Ryan Schonfeld talks with SSN about closing on $20M in new growth funding

HiveWatch has big plans backed by big investors

LOS ANGELES—With the recent addition of $20 million in growth funding, technology company HiveWatch, led by Founder and CEO Ryan Schonfeld, is in a prime position to support a bold expansion plan that includes doubling its staff and greatly increasing its technology platform within the next year.

The investment is led by former Twitter CEO & COO Dick Costolo and Adam Bain of 01A, with participation from Lachy Groom, Elad Gil, and Penny Jar Capital (a fund anchored by Stephen Curry), joining early insiders Crosscut Ventures, Freestyle Capital, and SaaS Ventures. This is the company’s second financing announcement since their initial seed round in November 2020, which brings HiveWatch’s total amount raised to $25 million.

By enabling security teams to bring together data from their existing disparate physical security systems and providing them with an intelligent, holistic and actionable view, HiveWatch said it is moving corporate safety operations from reactive-only responses to designing proactive programs that identify threats before they happen.

“The funding is a testament to the value and future of smart physical security and HiveWatch’s role in making that happen,” Schonfeld told Security Systems News. “Our investors at some of the fastest growing companies in history saw HiveWatch as a solution to the problem of scale for their own physical security programs. That’s significant in itself, since they’ve lived the challenges of scaling security and ran into the common issues of disconnected, antiquated systems that don’t provide valuable insights. When security components — IT, physical, and cyber — correlate, businesses can increase operational efficiency.”

Schonfeld, who is a SSN’ “40 under 40” Class of 2019 alumnus, noted that HiveWatch has raised a total of $25 million to date with the recent Series A funding. “HiveWatch will continue to grow its team and the capabilities of the platform,” he said. “HiveWatch has 10-plus open positions and has plans to double the team twice by late next year, hiring across engineering, product, customer success, marketing and sales.”

Machine Learning

HiveWatch enables organizations to mobilize and modernize their physical security with Multi-sensor Resolution and machine learning. Customers utilize HiveWatch’s Security Fusion Platform to unite siloed security systems’ data, analyze program design and team performance, and securely monitor disparate security systems.

“Machine learning has really only been used for adding new capabilities to physical security systems,” Schonfeld explained. “Object detection analytics on cameras have opened the way for features like people counting or motion detection, but typically analyzed data is contained to feeds from an individual sensor type, yielding inaccuracies caused by either image quality or the hardware itself. While these are features that are enabled in HiveWatch, we chose to take a more holistic approach.”

Using Multi-sensor Resolution, program managers can not only pair their cameras and access control devices to detect more nuanced intrusion attempts like tailgating but can also create customized machine learning models to reduce their false alerts across their program. “Since HiveWatch centralizes physical security data across all of a program’s sensors, we can begin to quicken response to and even prevent insider threats using anomaly detection algorithms to alert operators to suspicious activity,” Schonfeld explained. “This way, security becomes more proactive, rather than reactive.”

He continued, “The future of physical security is fusion. Technology leaders typically have physical security operations siloed because their legacy systems don't talk to each other and don't play nice with their cybersecurity tools. Orchestration, behavioral analysis, anomaly detection; these have been solved for cyber. We built HiveWatch to bring the physical side up to speed."

Big Time Investors

HiveWatch resonated with the former Twitter executives because of the pain they experienced scaling their physical security programs with their exponential growth.

”When running a company, nothing is more important than your employees. Prioritizing their safety and security is imperative,” said 01A Managing Partner Adam Bain. “You spare no expense to do so but the reality is that software and hardware products serving the enterprise physical security market are woefully inadequate. They’re antiquated, disconnected from each other, and make responding to incidents impossibly slow. Physical security teams deal with multiple camera feeds, badge swipe alerts, IOT data streams, and disparate interfaces to monitor and respond to issues. When we saw what Ryan was building with HiveWatch, we instantly saw the value and the future of smart physical security. Keeping your team and your company’s assets safe is easier and more efficient with HiveWatch.”

Funding will help HiveWatch execute on new and existing strategies including:

  • Helping security leaders gain the intelligence needed to make their teams more effective
  • Building a better and more cohesive customer experience (a first of its kind for the security industry)
  • Building a best-in-class engineering team focused on diversity and inclusion

“The access we have to capital allows HiveWatch to move more quickly in both product development and hiring talented individuals to propel the company forward,” said Schonfeld. “This allows us to capture the incredible demand we’re seeing quicker and to focus on the product and infrastructure needed to support that scale.”

Schonfeld said he is excited to deliver a platform to help organizations get smarter about keeping their people safe.

“What’s missing from physical security is leading-edge technology that reduces the noise that’s present in security operations and empowers leaders to make better informed decisions,” he said. “HiveWatch provides security leadership with a centralized place to communicate. With an intuitive dashboard, HiveWatch allows you to easily share video feeds, content, and metrics with internal and external stakeholders so they can execute quickly and detect new threats.”

As he points out, security leaders and decision makers have struggled to find a platform that aggregates data to improve existing installed systems. “Especially one that didn’t take more than a year to deploy, like a traditional PSIM,” said Schonfeld. “HiveWatch changes all of that: it’s not only a cost-effective solution to this problem, but it won’t unravel what you already have in place. The demand for this kind of solution is growing.”

Evolution of Hivewatch

Over the last year, HiveWatch has operated in what Schonfeld calls “stealth mode,” staying heavily focused on recruiting and hiring both incredible technical and security practitioner experts.

“The early HiveWatch team is made up of top technical talent from companies like Apple, Bird, Cisco, Disney, and NORAD, combining security expertise, advanced military operations and knowledge of high-growth technology startup execution,” he pointed out. “As mentioned above, we plan to double the team by the end of next year as we continue to grow.”

The HiveWatch pipeline, he added, includes a diverse mix of customers in industries from technology, gaming, critical infrastructure and cannabis, to name a few, and demand continues to grow.  

“COVID has certainly increased the complexity of running security programs, as well as driven more digital transformation mandates. As for the industry, organizations are shifting to accommodate the need for automation and converging technology,” Schonfeld said. “This is no longer simply an option – it’s a necessity, creating even more demand for the kind of platform HiveWatch provides into 2022 and beyond. At HiveWatch, we feel like PSIMs will start to be retired as people realize the shortcomings of their scalability and financial strain on organizations.”

Looking big picture, Schnofeld said there will continue to be a big push within security to:

  • Combine data from disparate security platforms and sensors to give operators not just a single-pane-of-glass to evaluate and operationalize alerts, but collect performance data of their security program to allow fast, iterative improvements (Security Fusion Platform).
  • Use the correlation of multiple sensors to increase sensor accuracy, reduce false alerts, and detect new threat vectors. (Multi-sensor Resolution).

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