Facewatch Fundraise for UK Anti-Crime Platform

By: John Honovich, Published on May 25, 2015

A foolish dream or the future of crime fighting?

A UK businessman has spent millions of his own money and now has raised nearly a million more from investors to fund a UK anti-crime platform that promises to drive down crime through sharing criminal information and real-time criminal face recognition alerts.

In this note, we examine the financial details, and the challenges the company will have to overcome.

Overview

Facewatch [link no longer available] was founded in 2010 by one of the owners of Gordon's Wine Barwell-reviewed establishment on Yelp. The founder has put his money where his mouth is, investing over $2 million USD and taking a loan secured by his house.

Fundraising

Facewatch just raised £537,890 (~$830,000) at a valuation of ~$9 million USD.

For the past 12 months (~4 years since starting), Facewatch generated just £37,422 (~$58,000 USD) against a £1.35 million loss, reporting 9,000 premises using their service / application.

Financial Forecast

The company is forecasting hockey stick growth, as shown below, up to £11 million (~$17 million USD) by 2019:

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The company expects to make revenue in 3 ways, roughly divided into thirds of total revenue:

  • A monthly fee per premise of > $5 to be part of the network
  • Add-on applications that businesses can purchase
  • Facial recognition / surveillance service that they can participate in so they can generate real time alerts and stop thieves

Here is the company's pitch about how it is going to do it:

The Upside

Facewatch has spent a lot of money and time seeding the market, giving away its software / offering to the police to encourage them to participate.

If Facewatch can get to a critical mass, it could generate increasing 'network effects' where it could become extremely valuable for all businesses to join (e.g., the equivalent to having a phone or all of your friends being on Facebook or Snapchat, etc.).

The UK itself is densely enough populated, a relatively small enough area and literally an island(s), that knowing or getting alerts on other criminals across the country could be extremely valuable to many retailers / business.

Finally, the founder is clearly willing to bet big on his own personal money to make this work.

The Challenges

Most obviously, the company needs to prove that it can sustain itself. Not only does the company make less most individual company security professionals, it has been and projects to continue to burn through a relative significant amount of money. By contrast, even with their optimistic financial forecast (30x growth in 5 years), they still would be doing less than $20 million annual revenue, plus a third of that is assumed to be coming from a never before done nation-wide facial surveillance sharing network.

If they can succeed, it would certainly be positive for security professionals, as such a network of crime sharing has potential benefits but, as Facewatch has already shown, a very hard task to build up. The good news is the new funding will give them some run-way to try to scale the network.

Comments (4) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

ISC East 2019 Show Report Day 2 on Nov 21, 2019
IPVM has finished in New York City covering both days of the ISC East 2019 show. Inside this report, we cover: Day 2 Traffic Centaur...
90+ Companies Profile Directory on Nov 06, 2019
While IPVM covers the largest companies in the industry regularly (like Axis, Dahua, Hikvision, etc.), IPVM strives to do a profile post on each...
Paravision AI Face Recognition Company Profile on Nov 01, 2019
Paravision (formerly EverAI) toutes being #1 in NIST testing and "America's only mission-critical face recognition" provider. We spoke to...
nFlux AI Startup Profile on Oct 28, 2019
nFlux, an Amazon, Google, and Microsoft funded AI startup told IPVM their mission is to build the most intelligent video analytics platform in the...
'Bunker Busting' Wireless Access Startup: Sure-Fi Profile on Oct 03, 2019
An access startup is claiming its 'bunker busting' wireless Wiegand radios can punch through 'any obstruction'. We examine their offering,...
Startup XNOR.ai, Inventors of YOLO, Video Surveillance Plans Examined on Sep 24, 2019
YOLO is arguably the most discussed and hyped computer vision model today. The inventors of YOLO have a startup named XNOR.ai that aims to bring...
Directory of 70 Video Surveillance Startups on Sep 18, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
Schmode is Back, Aims To Turn Boulder AI Into Giant on Sep 16, 2019
One of the most influential and controversial executives in the past decade is back. Bryan Schmode ascended and drove the hypergrowth of Avigilon...
ASIS GSX 2019 Final Show Report on Sep 12, 2019
IPVM went to Chicago for ASIS GSX 2019, with many exhibitors disappointed about traffic and the exhibitor schedule changing next year. However,...
JCI Sues Wyze on Aug 21, 2019
The mega manufacturer / integrator JCI has sued the fast-growing $20 camera Seattle startup Wyze. Inside this note: Share the court...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis "Best Of The Best" 4K Camera Tested (Q1798-LE) on Nov 21, 2019
Axis has released their "best of the best" Q1798-LE bullet camera, touting "4K without compromise" with a large Micro 4/3" image sensor, custom...
Glass Doors and Access Control Tutorial on Nov 21, 2019
One of the biggest access challenges are locking and securing glass doors. Unlike wood or steel doors that can be modified to work with...
Avigilon H4 Intercom Tested on Nov 20, 2019
Avigilon is well-known for video surveillance and access, but how well does the company's intercom work? We purchased and tested Avigilon's H4...
The Cowardly, Greedy "Leaders" of Video Surveillance - SIA on Nov 19, 2019
The video surveillance industry suffers from cowardly, greedy 'leaders' focused on maximizing easy money while undermining public trust. The...
Hikvision Dual Lens Face Recognition Camera Tested on Nov 19, 2019
Hikvision's Dual Lens Facial Recognition camera, claims that it "adopts advanced deep learning algorithm and powerful GPU to realize instant face...
Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2019 on Nov 18, 2019
2019 has been an explosive year for video surveillance, with the world's two largest manufacturers, Dahua and Hikvision, being sanctioned for human...
Hidden Camera Detectors Tested on Nov 18, 2019
Hidden cameras are a growing problem as cameras become smaller, cheaper and easier to access. However, some companies claim to be able to detect...
Wyze Fires Back at JCI - Your Patents Are Invalid, Pay All Of Our Costs on Nov 18, 2019
Goliath JCI targeted startup Wyze this summer alleging the fast-growing consumer startup was violating a slew of JCI's patents. Now, Wyze has...
ADT Stock Surges - "Leading The Commercial Space" on Nov 15, 2019
Don't call it comeback... but maybe call it a commercial provider. ADT, whose stock dropped by as much as 2/3rds since IPOing in 2018, has now...