Straight to Video
Integrian wants its mobile digital video platform tool used to upgrade traditional security and surveillance tapes. Plus, elderly business models are reconsidered and other alarm:clock news from the land of private venture funding.
HQ: Research Triangle Park, NC
Founded: Company was founded in 1999 as a contract engineering company and became product-focused in 2004.
Management: CEO Peter Durand was previously president of Entivity and director of eBusiness for GE Fanuc, a joint venture between General Electric and Fanuc of Japan. Ich-Kien Lao is a co-founder of the company and serves as vice president of product development. He has experience at Ericsson. Millidyne, and General Electric.
Investors: The company raised a $13 million Series B round in April 2005. It previously raised $5.5 million in a Series A round in February 2004. Polaris Venture Partners led the Series B round, with existing investors Intersouth Partners, Motorola Ventures, Wakefield Group, and The Dow Pension Plan.
Business Model: Integrian sells mobile digital video products for the public safety, transportation, and corporate security markets. The company’s first commercial product aims to upgrade in-car surveillance systems for law enforcement agencies. For example, Integrian estimates that current analog in-car cameras used by highway patrol officers can generate “more than 30,000 hours of patrol video per year per 100 officers with no means to systematically track the content.” Integrian’s products make recording, tagging, and archiving of data cheaper and more efficient. Captured video is uploaded to a server at the police station and Integrian offers a set of software tools that allow users to tag and catalog that video.
Competitors: Kustom Signals, Motorola, IBM
Dirt: With increased funding going towards public safety nationwide and globally, Integrian seems to have a good niche. It would also seem to have formidable competitors and is surely looking to partner with hefty distributors to get some big wins this year. To help open doors with the Department of Defense and the Office of Homeland Security Integrian recently announced the appointment of Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, a Four-Star Admiral, to its board of directors. He was most recently Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa.
What’s Old is New Again
Elderly business models are reconsidered – and other alarm:clock news from the land of private venture funding.
It’s well established that Web business models have a way of flaming out spectacularly, but where do these models go when they die? Most remain on the garbage heap of silly ideas – and rightly so – but some quietly re-emerge with better approaches and implementations. For example, Webvan failed miserably with its online grocery concept, but now FreshDirect has created a consistently growing online grocery business in greater New York City.
Another area undergoing a renewal of interest is the “verticalization” of search and locally targeted online ad models. The promise of localized advertising – primarily looking for ways to make the yellow pages searchable – was one of the hottest areas of interest when Web business models first came into existence. Now, new ventures such as Encino, CA-based ReachLocal may finally have a better idea of how to make this business work.
ReachLocal partners with local search engine optimization (SEO) companies to get small businesses such as dentists or car dealers as clients. The company then buys keyword-based online ads for these clients on Yahoo, Google, Yellowpages.com, and other networks. ReachLocal should benefit from the fact that big search players like Yahoo, which introduced its Yahoo Local Search service last August, are also circling back to this market.
Blue Security, an anti-spam and anti-spyware security company, is also going after a market that’s as old as the Web. The Menlo Park, CA-based company is pre-launch and hasn’t revealed much about its plans, but claims its anti-spam/anti-spyware products will be “using a revolutionary approach” called the Do Not Disturb Registry.
One thing seems clear: Blue Security will not be launching a souped-up anti-spam/spyware filter. On the company blog, which hints at Blue Security’s plans, CEO Eran Reshef meditates on the fact that filters aren’t that useful anymore for stopping spam. The company just raised a $3 million seed-round financing from Benchmark Capital.
For employers that want to find top-notch talent, even if that talent isn’t looking for a job, Seattle, WA-based Jobster has a solution. The site provides a recruiting tool for companies seeking to lure candidates that are not necessarily in the job market – they’re called “passive” job seekers. Jobster uses social networking techniques to get friends and colleagues to forward job listings to people who might be a good fit. The company charges $399 for each job posting and boasts Amazon.com, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Pfizer, and SBC Communications as early customers,
Offering another spin on social networking, Mill Valley, CA-based Grouper has developed a downloadable application that allows secure P2P file-sharing limited to small, invite-only groups. Users can share [AM1]music files, photos, and digital movies, as well as download Word documents and spreadsheets. The company launched with $1 million in angel seed funding and, in March 2005, it raised a $2.5 million round led by Duff, Ackerman & Goodrich.
We like the “invite only” approach because it makes Grouper less susceptible to the file-sharing legal woes that currently threaten to shutter fully-open P2P sites such as Grokster and StreamCast Networks.