AUSTIN, Texas — Eagle Eye Networks, which debuted its cloud-based video management system (VMS) in January, has a received a “multimillion-dollar” investment from Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Inc.
The Series B Funding came from MSD Capital LP, the private investment firm for Dell and his family. It marks Dell’s first investment in a physical security industry company. Also participating in the round were Enrique Salem, former CEO of Symantec, and private equity firm Austin Ventures.
In today’s funding announcement, Dell said he was “greatly impressed” with Eagle Eye Networks Founder Dean Drako and his execution as founder and long-time CEO of Barracuda Networks.
Eagle Eye Networks’ flagship product is a cloud-managed security and operations VMS that provides both cloud and on-premise recording. The solution offers secure, encrypted recording, camera management and mobile viewing and alerts.
In an E-mail interview with SSI, Dell commented the cloud will transform video surveillance just as it has other areas.
“Companies may not replace existing systems immediately, and the cloud may not be right for all of them, but for many customers it makes sense and they will move over time,” Dell said.
Drako would not disclose the exact amount of the funding, saying he would prefer to keep it vague for competitive reasons. He said the investment will be used to further expand the company’s VMS infrastructure, including building additional datacenters. The company currently operates three datacenters, including two in the United States and one in Canada.
Drako said the new investment will also be used to expand the company’s sales and engineering teams as well as bolster its channel partner program for resellers. A recent study sponsored by Eagle Eye Networks highlights the potential for dealers and integrators to create various new streams of revenue beyond security applications by harnessing cloud technology for video surveillance, he said.
For instance, among the 500 surveyed IT administrators, managers and video surveillance professionals, 68% reported they were targeting using surveillance for business operations improvement. That number is more than twice as many than plan to continue using video surveillance exclusively for protection purposes.
“There is an opportunity for dealers to expand the business they are in and grow it significantly,” Drako tells SSI. “There are all kinds of applications that will come to the forefront as we make the video more accessible. Right now the video seems to be locked away in DVRs and NVRs that no one really wants to go touch.”