New York Times: Video Search Company Gets Investor Attention

December 21, 2010 | Coverage

NY TImes Bits

The number of surveillance cameras in the world today is estimated in the tens of millions, with almost all these cameras recording 24 hours a day of footage. New York alone manages 1,500 surveillance cameras, and that number is expected to reach 3,000 next year.

But it is difficult, if not close to impossible, for camera operators to sift through all this footage because it requires countless hours of time to find a single moment on a camera’s tape.

3VR Security, based in Palo Alto, Calif., says it has solved that problem with technology that automatically catalogs video footage so that it can be searched at a later date, just like looking up a query on Google. And some technology investment firms seem to agree; 3VR closed a $17 million round of financing on Tuesday.

“We extract information from the video including face recognition, license plates, colors and more, that can all be searched at a moment’s notice,” explained Al Shipp, 3VR’s chief executive officer, in a phone interview.

Mr. Shipp said he hoped to use the new round of financing to take his company’s technology into new markets like health care, banking and retail. He also said the company might offer a consumer product at a later date too.

Aisling MacRunnels, 3VR’s chief marketing officer, said the company had received queries about use of the technology in retail, to prevent fraud.

“We have great statistics where we are seeing fraud disappear by up to 90 percent, all by searching this previously unusable stream of video,”  Ms. MacRunnels said.

The $17 million round of investment includes money  from Menlo Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and DAG Ventures, all based in Palo Alto too.

Read the Article on New York Times Bits Blog